Friday, June 18, 2010

U.S. officials' statement on migration talks

Cuba Migration Talks

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
June 18, 2010

On Friday, June 18, 2010, the United States and Cuba met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the implementation of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords. This was the third such meeting since the decision to resume the Cuba Migration Talks in 2009. In the course of the meeting, the U.S. team, led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Craig Kelly, reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration. The Cuban delegation was led by Vice Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez Barrera.

The U.S. delegation separately raised the case of Alan Gross, the U.S. citizen detained in Cuba since December 4, 2009, and called for his immediate release.

Engaging in these talks underscores our interest in pursuing constructive discussions with the Government of Cuba to advance U.S. interests. The U.S. delegation highlighted areas of successful cooperation in migration, while also identifying issues that have been obstacles to the full implementation of the Accords. The agenda for the talks reflected longstanding U.S. priorities on Cuba migration issues, including: ensuring that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is able to operate fully and effectively; ensuring that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is able to monitor the welfare of repatriated migrants; and gaining Cuban Government acceptance for the repatriation of Cuban nationals who are subject to removal from the United States on criminal grounds.

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