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  • A man works outside of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, September 2017.

    A man works outside of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, September 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 January 2018

The two countries vowed to cooperate despite US President Trump's adoption of a tougher stance on the island than that of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Cuban and US officials have concluded a week of negotiations on law-enforcement cooperation in Washington, with a meeting on the fight against illicit drug trafficking as tensions between the Cold War foes escalate, Reuters reports.

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The two countries vowed to cooperate despite US President Donald Trump's adoption of a tougher stance on the Communist island than that of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

The dialogue also defied the recent diplomatic crisis caused by alleged "sonic attacks" carried out by Cuba against US diplomats in Havana, which have since been disproven by the FBI.

"The meeting took place in a climate of respect and professionalism," said Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released late Friday. "Both parties agreed on the usefulness of the meeting and agreed to hold the talks in the future."

This was the fourth such meeting on the fight against drug trafficking since the authorities of Cuba and the United States established the framework for dialogue on enforcement and compliance with the law in November 2015.

During the week, Cuban and US officials also held talks on cybersecurity and terrorism prevention in Washington, according to the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On December 17, 2014, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro declared a historic opening between the two countries after five decades of hostility.

Washington and Havana opened embassies, restored commercial flights and negotiated agreements on issues including the environment, enforcement and compliance with the law, postal service and communications.

Those measures remain in effect, although Trump announced in June that his administration would partially reverse the opening, ordering tighter restrictions on trade and travel.

The US government also cut staff at its embassy in Havana in September after mysterious health conditions affected two dozen diplomats and their families.


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