Political dialogue on Cuba-EU meeting agenda

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla stressed Monday on Twitter that the Second Cuba-European Union (EU) Joint Council, which opens today in Havana, includes in its agenda the development of political, trade, investment and cooperation dialogues.

The extraterritorial effect of the Helms-Burton Act will also be addressed at the meeting, Rodriguez Parrilla stated, adding that the event, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, 'will contribute to fostering positive ties'.

We will discuss the implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, which rules the links between Brussels - the EU seat - and Havana," the head of Cuban diplomacy remarked.

Cuba has full diplomatic relations with the twenty-eight EU Member States and last year celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations with the European Community.

Cooperation includes issues such as food security, adaptation to climate change, renewable energies and the exchange of experiences for the upgrading of the Cuban economy.

Brussels is not only an important trading partner, but also traditionally votes as a bloc in favor of the Cuban resolution against the blockade, presented at the UN.

Cuba also acknowledges the EU's rejection of the application of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, which harms European interests.

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Cuba, EU to hold second Joint Council meeting in Havana

The European Union (EU)'s top diplomat Federica Mogherini has begun an official visit to Cuba to attend the second EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The meeting will kick off on Monday in Cuba's capital city Havana. The Cuban delegation would be led by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

During the meeting, both parties will review the implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in 2016 between Cuba and the EU, according to Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides will also discuss trade and investment, and the U.S. Helms-Burton Act, which was reactivated earlier this year as Washington tightens sanctions against Havana.

The first EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting was held in Brussels in 2018, when Mogherini and Rodriguez signed a cooperation agreement.

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Cuba and the EU to hold talks in Havana

On September 9, the 2nd EU-Cuba Joint Council will be held in Havana, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez recalled this Tuesday on Twitter.

According to the head of Cuban diplomacy, the country has full relations with the European Union on the basis of mutual respect, and this encounter will serve to discuss cooperation and future dialogue on sectoral policy.

Trade and investment will also be discussed, including the Helms-Burton Act (which intensifies the US economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba six decades ago) and its extraterritorial effects, he added.

The meeting will be chaired by the Cuban Foreign Minister and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Federica Mogherini.

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EU Advocates Respect for Indigenous Cultures

The European External Action Service advocated this Friday respect for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity on the occasion of the International Day of the World''s Indigenous People.

In a statement, the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, highlighted the contributions of these communities and expressed the will of the EU bloc to help revitalize, foster and transmit their oral traditions and art.

Out of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world, 5,000 are indigenous. The majority of the 2,680 languages threatened are also indigenous. This is a direct consequence of the continued violation of the right of these communities to self-determination, to live on their lands and to own their resources, she said.

Mogherini also indicated that these populations are disproportionately affected by poverty, climate change and violence, and reiterated the EU's commitment to the struggle to preserve indigenous languages and cultures.

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EU Leaders Convene for Emergency Talks on Migration

Brussels, July 16 (Prensa Latina) The European Union (EU) Ministers of Foreign Affairs will have an ''emergency'' meeting in Helsinki on Wednesday in an attempt to bridge their deep divisions over migrant rescue missions in the Mediterranean.

Such a meeting, an initiative of France and Germany supported by Finland - in charge of the pro tempore chairmanship of the EU -, hopes to lay the foundations of a 'coalition' of nations willing to share migrants rescued, without having to engage in harsh negotiations on a case-by-case basis.

In the letter of invitation to their European counterparts, the Finnish Minister of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo, assured that 'the situation in the Mediterranean Sea requires our immediate involvement'.

It is aimed at setting up 'strong provisions for what follows the search and rescue operations, in order to guarantee a rapid response after the landing,' according to the statement.

The Finnish official pointed out that such treaties 'must be based on a shared responsibility involving a wide-large number' of nations.

The figures of migrants' arrivals at the European coasts were drastically reduced since the arrival of over a million migrants in 2015, but the division between the European governments did not diminished, while the Mediterranean countries of the EU are asking for more support and solidarity.

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Tehran rejects Macron’s call for wider intl talks beyond nuclear deal – ministry

Iran rejected French calls for wider international talks over its nuclear and military ambitions, according to a state TV report.

President Emmanuel Macron had said the previous day that Paris and Washington both wanted to stop Tehran getting nuclear arms and new talks should focus on curbing its ballistic missiles program.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it would not hold any discussions beyond the 2015 pact which US President Donald Trump abandoned last year. “Talking about issues beyond the deal… will lead to further mistrust among the remaining signatories of the deal,” Reuters quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi as saying.

“The Europeans have so far failed to fulfill their commitments under the deal and… to protect Iran’s interests after America’s illegal withdrawal,” Mousavi added.

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Use Huawei And Lose Access To Our Data, US Tells Germany

Berlin: The United States may no longer share sensitive security information with nations that install next-generation networks, like those made by China's Huawei, that it regards as insecure, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

Pompeo issued the warning after meeting his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin, which has so far stood with European partners in resisting US calls to ban the state-owned manufacturer from 5G mobile networks now being built.

While he said all countries would take their own sovereign decisions on which manufacturers to use, the United States would continue to warn them of the risks, including the possibility that Washington would have to withold information.

Huawei files challenge against US defense bill

Huawei has filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the US government, in the telecoms equipment maker's latest bid to fight sanctions from Washington that threaten to push it out of global markets.

"(There is) a risk we will have to change our behaviour in light of the fact that we can't permit data on private citizens or data on national security to go across networks in that we don't have confidence (in)," he told a news conference.

Pompeo is expected to continue pressing the issue in a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on his delayed trip to Berlin, the first stop in a five-day European trip that will also take him to Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain.

Pompeo urged close ally Britain this month not to use Huawei's technology to build new 5G networks because of concerns it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying.

The United States is at odds with its German allies on a host of issues, from trade to military spending and nuclear non-proliferation.

Pompeo's visit had been scheduled earlier this month, but was called off at the last minute as tensions rose over Iran, on whose nuclear programme Berlin and Washington do not see eye to eye.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, responding to similar comments on Huawei made by US Vice President Mike Pence in Canada on Thursday, said the United States had yet to prove that Huawei's products presented a security risk.

"We hope that the United States can stop these mistaken actions which are not at all commensurate with their status and position as a big country," said spokesman Geng Shuang.

Pompeo also urged Germany to follow Britain in proscribing Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and boost military spending.

He also said that the United States was attempting to verify reports that a senior North Korean official involved in Pyongyang's non-proliferation talks with Washington had been executed.

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Tehran will ‘quickly’ restart nuclear program if EU fails to negotiate with Iran – Russian deputy FM

Tehran can easily restore its nuclear potential if the EU succumbs to the US pressure to reinstall sanctions against Iran, which were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal (also known as the JCPOA), a top Russian diplomat has said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that Iran hadn’t yet violated its commitments under the nuclear accord with world powers. Tehran still stores less than 130 tons of heavy water – material used as the neutron moderator in the reactors.

However, it will exceed the limits if JCPOA members won’t find solutions “first of all to ensure the legitimate economic interests of the Islamic republic,” the deputy FM said after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran.

Also on rt.com US to punish any EU-Iran ‘sanctionable behavior,’ doesn’t see ‘demand’ for touted trade mechanism....

Ryabkov added, that there is “no doubt Iran can quickly restore uranium enrichment up to 20 percent” as it had done before the JCPOA capped that level to 3.67 percent. The diplomat, however, dismissed concerns about this potential breach of the JCPOA terms as an “abstract” threat. He said that in order to keep Iran’s nuclear program under control, it is important to secure Tehran’s participation in the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) “regardless of what fate will befall the JCPOA.”

Also on rt.com Iran announces four-fold increase in uranium enrichment...

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China to put limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lift of sanctions. However, last year Donald Trump’s administration unilaterally withdrew from the deal, reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran and started pushing other countries to cut ties with Tehran. Washington says Iran continues to pursue nuclear arms, a claim Tehran has constantly denied.

Russia proposed a set of its own “full-frame” measures to save the JCPOA which it hopes to further work on with Iran and other “sensible parties,” Ryabkov told RT after the bilateral talks. Moscow also urged all JCPOA partners to meet as soon as possible to work out a roadmap which “won’t let the situation to degrade.”

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