Panama: U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama before a face-to-face discussion which is scheduled to be held on Saturday. The discussions are aimed at ending the dismal relations between the nations.
The brief meeting was a significant one and it was the first time in 50 years, that Cuba and the United States have come together to spend some real time together.
Speaking to a gathering of civil society groups, Obama said, “As the United States begins a new chapter in our relationship with Cuba, we hope it will create an environment that improves the lives of the Cuban people.”
The U.S. termed the interaction as an informal one and not a substantive conversation and the two leaders are expected to meet on Saturday.
This is the first time Cuba has been invited in the summit along with Central, North and South American countries. The U.S. had blocked Cuba from participating for decades.