The third round of talks between the US and Cuba on normalising relations will begin next Monday in Havana, the US state department said.
While the chief US negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson would arrive in the Cuban capital on Sunday, discussions would not start until the following day, a senior official said, according to a Xinhua report.
The official made the clarification after the US state department had issued a statement earlier on Friday saying that Jacobson would be returning to Havana on March 15 for the next session of talks.
Asked when the discussions would conclude, the official said the assistant secretary would probably be back in Washington by the middle of next week.
Jacobson is not expected to hold a press conference in Havana on this occasion, the senior official said, pointing out that next week’s encounter would not have the "historic" quality of the assistant secretary’s first trip to Cuba in January to start the negotiations.
"There won’t be any big announcements after this trip," the official said.
In Havana, Jacobson and Josefina Vidal, the head of the US desk in Cuba’s foreign ministry, "will continue discussions of re-establishing diplomatic relations and re-opening embassies," according to the press release from the US state department.
Both sides were relatively upbeat after the second round of talks last month in Washington.
The US government has expressed optimism that the re-opening of embassies can take place before the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas in Panama, which is expected to be the first meeting between US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro since they announced the normalisation initiative in December.
Washington severed diplomatic ties with Havana in 1961 and has maintained an economic embargo against the communist-ruled island since late 1962.