Wednesday, July 5, 2017

European Parliament approves first EU-Cuba deal

European Parliament ministers voted Wednesday in favor of the first European Union trade and dialogue agreement with Cuba.

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement promises to "expand bilateral trade, promote dialogue and economic cooperation, and provide for joint action on the world scene," a parliament statement said.

The vote in the Strasbourg, France, legislature was 567-65 in favor of the deal, with 31 abstentions.

The statement added that the parliament opposed "laws and measures with extraterritorial effect" as "harmful to the Cuban population," although it did not specifically mention the United States' embargo of Cuba. The agreement urges Cuba, though, to bring its human rights policies in line with international standards.

The agreement can be suspended by the EU if Cuba violates human rights provisions.

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