French foreign minister meets Raul Castro on historic visit to Cuba

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (C) addresses the French community in Havana, during a visit to France’s embassy, on April 12, 2014

France’s foreign minister met with Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday during the first visit to the island by such a high-ranking French official in 31 years and a sign of the quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and Havana.

Laurent Fabius said he discussed politics, human rights, market-oriented reforms in Cuba and bilateral relations in what he characterized as “a long conversation” with Castro.

“We want to push forward our relations in the areas of culture, education, economics and politics,” Fabius, a former prime minister, told reporters at the end of a one-day visit to the communist-run Caribbean country.

“Of course, we have different points of view on certain issues, which doesn’t stop us from exchanging perspectives and moving forward,” he said…

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