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EU Official to Begin Talks with Cuban Officials, Dissidents

A top European Union official is urging Cuba to "turn the page" on a two-year rift with the EU over human rights.

EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel made his comments Friday following discussions in Havana with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque. The diplomatic visit is part of a two-day meeting with Cuban officials and dissidents. Mr. Michel says his trip is aimed at improving relations between Havana and the European Union.

The EU suspended human rights related diplomatic sanctions against Cuba in January, after Cuba released 14 of 75 dissidents imprisoned after a crackdown in 2003.

A media rights group, Reporters Without Borders, has called on Mr. Michel to urge Cuban officials to release all political prisoners, including 21 journalists the group says were unjustly imprisoned.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP andReuters.