EU welcomes Cuba dissidents release

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The European Union on Thursday welcomed Cuba's agreement to release 52 political prisoners over the next four months, urging Havana to act speedily on the accord.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton "welcomes" the announcement and "looks forward to the rapid implementation of this decision", an EU statement said.

In a deal with the Catholic Church on Wednesday in Havana, Cuba agreed to release five dissidents "in the coming hours" and 47 more within the next three to four months, Roman Catholic church officials said in the statement.

"The EU is following with great attention the dialogue on human rights issues between the Catholic Church and the Cuban government and hopes this dialogue will lead to a lasting solution allowing the release of all political prisoners," the EU statement added.

© 2010 AFP

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