U.S., Cuba hold talks over oil spill

08:02, May 20, 2010      

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The United States and Cuba were holding "working level" talks on how to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said on Wednesday.

The United States has "had working level discussions with the Cuban government to keep them informed of developments" and the U. S. interests section in Havana has "delivered a diplomatic note to the Cuban Foreign Ministry informing the Cuban government about the oil spill and what we currently know about its projected movement," Duguid told reporters.

Duguid also said the United States "provided background related to the cause of the spill, stressed that stopping the oil leak is our top priority, and explained the projected movement of the spill," and also "communicated the U.S. desire to maintain a clear line of communication with the Cuban government on developments."

The United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in the early 1960s when both countries severed diplomatic ties.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean and leased by BP, sank on April 22 some 52 km off Venice, the U.S. state of Louisiana after burning for roughly 36 hours. The untapped wellhead continues gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists were surveying the Gulf of Mexico to determine if the oil had entered a powerful current that could take it to Florida and Cuba.



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