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Cuban president meets visiting US senators, representatives

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-22 14:13

HAVANA - Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday met with a visiting delegation of bipartisan US senators and representatives, the first high-level US delegation since President Donald Trump took office about a month ago.

Cuba's state TV quoted an official government release as saying that Castro and the visiting US congressmen, including Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Senator Thad Cochran, talked about topics concerning the "common interests of both countries." The release did not reveal more details.

Castro was accompanied by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca.

The US delegation earlier met separately with Rodriguez and Malmierca as well as Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez.

Leahy has been one of the main proponents of normalizing relations with Cuba, while Cochran from the southern state of Mississippi has publicly endorsed Trump in the Senate.

Cochran is a co-sponsor in the Senate of a bill aimed at expanding agricultural exports to Cuba. The legislation would lift the ban on granting private credit to finance agricultural sales to the island, and thus seek greater access by US farmers to the Cuban market.

The congressional trip took place just over one month after the inauguration of Trump, who has promised to review the state of relations with Cuba.

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