July 20, 2015 / 7:26 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. has no intention of altering Guantanamo base lease: Kerry

The Northeast gate marks the end of U.S. soil as the road leads into Cuba at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, March 8, 2013. Picture taken March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Bob Strong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday the United States had no intention at this time of altering its existing lease arrangement regarding its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Speaking at a news conference with his Cuban counterpart, Kerry noted that the issue was a pointed difference between the two nations even as they move to normalize diplomatic relations.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told reporters that the military base along with remaining issues over the trade embargo remained top concerns for the Caribbean island nation even as it opened an embassy in Washington earlier on Monday.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Peter Cooney

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