Diplomatic talks between the U.S. and Cuba have "continued to advance," but there is no decision yet on opening embassies in each other's countries, according to Cuba's lead negotiator.
The heads of U.S. and Cuba delegations to re-establish diplomatic relations delivered public addresses Friday from the Foreign Press Center in Washington.
"Both delegations agreed to continue our exchanges on issues related to the functioning of diplomatic missions, so we will continue those conversations over the next few weeks," Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said in response to a question about impending embassies.
In her prepared remarks, Vidal said the Cuban mission is ready to discuss issues such as lifting the embargo once diplomatic relations are formally reestablished.
The U.S., meanwhile admitted the challenges of achieving that feat, but characterized the talks as "highly productive."
"This has not been an easy task given our complicated history," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said.
Jacobson added that she could not specify what parts of opening an embassy remain sticking points between the two parties.
Talks between the two countries went into a second day on Friday as the sides try to reach agreement on reopening embassies shut for more than half a century, the crucial next step in their historic detente.
The opening of embassies in Washington and Havana is part of an agreement struck between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in December to reestablish diplomatic ties severed by the United States in 1961 soon after Cuba's revolution.