President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke on the phone Friday about normalizing relations between the two countries in time for Pope Francis’ visit.
According to a statement from the White House, the two Presidents agreed that Pope Francis had played a crucial role in reopening communications between the two countries and commended the cooperation between American and Cuban medics during a Navy visit to Haiti this week.
They also discussed further steps both countries can take to advance communication, including the recent opening of embassies in Washington and Havana.
The Pope is due to arrive in Cuba on Saturday and will then come to the U.S. for a several-day visit.
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