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Cuban and U.S. officials meet in Havana to discuss migration

February 19, 2010 |  2:09 pm

Cuba’s deputy minister of foreign affairs met with U.S. diplomats for several hours Friday to discuss migration issues, according to news reports.

Dagoberto Rodriguez met with a U.S. delegation led by Craig Kelly, principal deputy assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs, in an undisclosed location in Havana.

A statement from Cuban officials said “the meeting took place in an atmosphere of respect,” the Associated Press reported.

Cuba said it wants the United States to end a policy known as “wet foot, dry foot,” which means Cubans reaching U.S. soil receive asylum, while those found at sea face deportation.

A U.S. State Department statement issued before the meeting said the discussions in Cuba would “focus on how best to promote safe, legal and orderly migration between Cuba and the United States.”

Members of the U.S. delegation reportedly were also expected to meet with Cuban dissidents.

-- Efrain Hernandez Jr.