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Cuba Resumes Formal Contact with European Union Nations

Cuba says it has resumed diplomatic contact with eight European Union countries that have stopped inviting dissidents to official embassy events.

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque announced the Cuban government's decision at a news conference in Havana Monday.

Mr. Roque says Cuban authorities will start meeting with the ambassadors of the EU countries which include France, Germany and Britain.

Relations between Cuba and the European Union became strained in 2003 after the Cuban government cracked down on opposition to President Fidel Castro. Seventy-five dissidents were arrested and imprisoned for lenghty jail terms. Fourteen of them have been released.

The European Union began to reduce high-level government visits and invited dissidents to embassy gatherings.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.