Jamaica’s PM Portia Simpson Miller whispers to President Obama during their meeting on April 9, 2015.
News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. April 9, 2015: At 10:44 a.m. this morning, President Obama with Jamaica Prime Minister Simpson Miller at his side announced that the U.S. State Department has concluded its review of whether to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and its recommendation has been forwarded to the White House.
From there it will go through an intera-gency process before being presented to him. He did not say what the recommendation was. ”That review has been completed,” Obama said of the State process. But as for a formal recommendation to him, “that hasn’t happened yet.”
“I won’t make a formal announcement today about what those recommendations are until I have them,” Obama said. “Our focus has been on the facts.”
As for the broader question of the opening with Cuba, he said of the talks: “They are proceeding as I expected. I never foresaw that immediately, overnight, Cuba would transform.” But he said he did anticipate being able to move forward with opening embassies and there will be concrete steps this year and next toward normalization.
The President’s Motorcade rolled out from Jamaica House at 11:20 for his meeting with Caribbean leaders.
It follows a private meeting with PM Simpson Miller earlier. See related story here.