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WORLD – Obama to meet with Castro


Raul Castro (left) and Barack Obama are set to meet for the second time on Tuesday

Barack Obama will hold a formal meeting with Cuban president Raúl Castro on Tuesday.

The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the annual United Nations general assembly, a massive gathering of world leaders in New York City.

It will be the second face-to-face meeting between Obama and Castro since the US and Cuba restored diplomatic relations late last year. Obama and Castro also convened a rare phone call earlier this month, ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to both their countries.

At the UN on Sunday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged the US to lift its embargo on Cuba and to end other sanctions which he said “bypassed the UN security council”.

The US and the European Union have imposed targeted sanctions on Russia for its take-over of Crimea and backing for rebel forces in eastern Ukraine.

Lavrov decried such measures, which he said were imposed in violation of the UN Charter, saying they contradicted new global development goals and undermined market principles in trade, finance and technology.

In addition to his bilateral meeting with Castro, the White House said Obama would meet with the president of Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Obama arrived in New York on Sunday morning. While aboard Air Force One, he spoke with Chilean president Michelle Bachelet.

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