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U.S. and Cuba Hold Talks on Gulf Oil Spill

5 years ago
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The United States and Cuba are holding rare "working level" talks to discuss the response to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The talks reflect concern that currents could carry the slick as far as the Florida Keys and the beaches along Cuba's northern coast.

"It is incumbent upon us to inform all of our neighbors, not just the islands, but those countries that could be affected by disasters that happen within our territorial waters," State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters Wednesday.

Duguid said U.S. diplomats have informed the Cuban government about the spill, which is believed to be dumping 5,000 barrels of crude a day into coastal waters, and what is known about where it's moving, The Associated Press reported.

"We provided background related to the cause of the spill, stressed that stopping the oil leak is our top priority and explained the projected movement of the spill," Duguid said. "We also communicated the U.S. desire to maintain a clear line of communication with the Cuban government on developments."

It was not clear if the U.S. has offered assistance to Havana should the crude wash up on Cuban beaches, or if officials would even accept it.

Relations between the United States and Cuba have been strained for more than 50 years. However, recently the two nations have pushed to improve cooperation in dealing with natural disasters and fighting drug trafficking, and have resumed regular talks on immigration, according to the AP.
Filed Under: Oil Spill, Environment

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