December 13, 2017
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pope had key role in US-Cuban talks, offers good offices

US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raúl Castro thanked Pope Francis for his role in the talks for normalizing relations. The Vatican expressed “warm congratulations for the historic decision” and offered its good offices “to facilitate a constructive dialogue.”

“His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me and to Cuban President Raul Castro urging us to resolve Alan’s case and to address Cuba’s interest in the release of three Cuban agents who have been jailed in the United States for over 15 years,” Obama said.

Castro, in his turn, thanked “the Vatican and particularly Pope Francis,” in his televised speech.

After the historic decision by Obama and Castro, Pope Francis expressed “his warm congratulations” in an official statement and congratulated both governments for establishing diplomatic relations “with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history.”

In the statement, the Holy See offered Washington and Havana its good offices “to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both parties.”

Besides the personal appeals, Francis has also hosted both Cuban and US delegations in the Vatican to discuss moving forward in their bilateral relations.

“I want to thank Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us importance of pursuing the world as it should be rather than simply settling for the world as it is,” Obama added.

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Tags:  Pope Francis  Cuba  US  talks  mediation  World  

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