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US, Cuba to Eye ‘Full Normalization’ of Relations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that a new U.S.-Cuban committee would begin talks next month on the “full normalization” of bilateral ties, building on historic ceremony earlier in the day in which the American flag was raised above the U.S. Embassy in Havana for the first time in more than 54 years.

At a joint news conference in Havana with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Kerry said the path toward fully normal relations would depend in part on the lifting of the trade embargo with Cuba that the United States imposed more than 50 years ago. President Barack Obama supports that move, but faces opposition from many conservatives in Congress.

Kerry also played down any concerns about whether the next U.S. president, whoever is elected in November 2016, might roll back or reverse the Obama administration’s policy of engaging Cuba.

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