Cuban negotiator flies home to consult Castro

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK (Reuter) - Talks between the United States and Cuba on stemming the uncontrolled flow of Cuban migrants were interrupted yesterday to enable Ricardo Alarcon, the chief Cuban negotiator, to return to Havana for consultations.

The announcement came after a brief session, the sixth since the talks began last Thursday. Warren Christopher, the US Secretary of State, said: 'We see the talks as continuing to be useful and we see this as only a brief interruption.' Mr Christopher said the other members of the Cuban delegation would remain in New York and he expected the negotiations to resume within the next two or three days.

Asked whether there were still significant differences in the positions of the two sides, a US spokesman replied: 'I wouldn't change the characterisation I made in the past.' The only negotiators in yesterday's session, which lasted 45 minutes, were Mr Alarcon, who is president of the Cuban parliament and a former foreign minister, and Michael Skol, the head of the US delegation.