VINA DEL MAR (AFP) – The United States and its former Cold War foe Cuba are discussing a joint maritime reserve in waters between their countries, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
Kerry was in Chile for the “Our Ocean” conference, where several countries and foundations announced new efforts to preserve the marine environment and fisheries.
The United States had already unveiled two new marine reserves on its own territory at the conference, and Kerry revealed that another may be the fruit of the US rapprochement with Cuba.
“We are also working to finalize a new sister marine protected area arrangement with Cuba to connect protected sides in our two countries, so we can better collaborate on scientific research, education, and sound management,” he said.
Kerry did not give details on where the reserve would be, but there are barely 90 miles (145 kilometers) of shallow tropical waters between Cuba s northern shore and the US state of Florida.
Talks on the reserve will form part of the ongoing process of renewing Cuban and US ties, which were cut off five decades ago at the height of the Cold War and only restored in July.
Kerry said he hoped to visit Cuba in late January to pursue the dialogue.