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Posted January 06, 2004 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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MEXICO CITY : Mexico and Cuba, whose historic ties suffered a war of words in 2002, would like a meeting between Presidents Vicente Fox and Fidel Castro to usher in renewed relations, a top official said.

“We both have decided to work from top to bottom,” Mexican vice minister of foreign relations Miguel Hakim told Formato 21 radio.

“When we see improvement and the level has risen, we will think about a meeting between the leaders.”

Hakim said that Mexican foreign minister Luis Derbez and his Cuban counterpart Felipe Perez Roque would meet in the first half of next year. After evaluating those meetings, they would determine whether Fox and Castro should meet.

Mexico and Cuba have long enjoyed warm relations as Latin American neighbors across a narrow stretch of the Gulf of Mexico—especially in light of the four-decade US embargo of the island.

But in 2002, Castro revealed that Fox had asked him to keep his participation to a minimum at a UN-sponsored conference in Monterrey, Mexico that year. Fox also asked Castro not rub US President George W. Bush the wrong way at the development meeting.

Mexico’s vote against Cuba at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva sank relations even further.

Since that time, Mexico’s warm relations with the United States have also cooled.

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