The EU agrees to launch negotiations with Cuba

The European Union has agreed to launch negotiations with Cuba aimed at restoring full bilateral relations with the Communist-run island.

The talks, which could begin as soon as next month, will try to increase trade and investment, and include a dialogue on human rights, officials said.

Since 1996, the EU has restricted its ties with Cuba to encourage multi-party democracy and progress on human rights.

The bloc is Cuba’s second-biggest trading partner after Venezuela.

It represents a major source of investment, and hundreds of thousands of European tourists visit the island every year.

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