President Obama said Monday he is hoping the United States can open an embassy in Cuba ahead of the Western Hemisphere summit in Panama scheduled for April 10-11. “My hope is that we will be able to open an embassy, and that some of the initial groundwork will have been laid” before the summit, the president told Reuters. But he added that there is a lot of work to be done before full normal relations can be restored. U.S. and Cuban officials met for a second round of talks Friday in Washington, D.C., and Josefina Vidal, the head of the U.S. division of the Cuban foreign ministry, said the country was ready to move forward once the White House removes Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. Officials have yet to set a date for a formal renewal of relations, which both countries announced in December.
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