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Spain, Cuba Renew Bilateral Ties During Havana Talks

Spain and Cuba have renewed their bilateral ties during talks in Havana with an agreement to discuss human rights and economic cooperation.

Visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos signed the agreements Tuesday with his Cuban counterpart, Felipe Perez Roque.

Roque said the talks did not touch on the controversial subject of Cuban political prisoners. He said the release of jailed dissidents is an internal matter that Cuba does not discuss with other countries.

Relations between Spain and Cuba have been cool since the EU imposed sanctions against Havana for imprisoning 75 dissidents in 2003.

Moratinos was in Havana for a two-day visit aimed at improving relations between the two countries. He also met Tuesday with acting president Raul Castro - who temporarily took power in July after his older brother, Cuban President Fidel Castro, had intestinal surgery.

Spain's policy toward Cuba has shifted since Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took power in 2004. Mr. Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar, adopted a policy of isolating the Communist island.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.