Castro tells Carter that Cuba wants dialogue with US as equals
Cuban President Raul Castro told Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter that Cuba seeks talks with the US government "on equal terms," an official statement said during the former US president's visit to the island, DPA reported.
"Castro reiterated Cuba's disposition to talk with the US government on any topic, but on equal terms, without conditions and with absolute respect for our independence and sovereignty," the statement broadcast on state-run television said Tuesday.
It said Carter, who was invited to Havana by Castro, and his host discussed "international current events, the situations in Cuba and the United States and the relationship between both nations."
National broadcaster Cubavision showed images of the meeting in the Palace of the Revolution, the seat of the government, where the US flag was hung alongside the Cuban flag.
The Carter Center called the trip a "private mission" with the hope of promoting improved relations between the bitter rivals that have not had formal diplomatic relations since the early 1960s.
Carter previously visited the island in 2002 and met with then-president Fidel Castro, the current president's older brother.Carter also planned to meet with dissidents, former political prisoners, relatives of prison inmates and internet critics of the Castro government.