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Obama to remove Cuba from US state terrorism list

US President Barack Obama has submitted a report to the Congress, indicating an intention to remove Cuba from the terrorism list. The decision will have to be approved by Congress before being implemented.

Barack Obama was removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terror, the White House said, adding that the president submitted the required reports to the Congress in this regard.

"We will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism," the White House said in a statement.

Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi lauded the president's decision in a tweet:

Obama made his decision following a

State Department review of Cuba's presence on the list

, which includes Iran, Sudan and Syria. The four countries have been accused of repeatedly supporting terrorism, with the US accusing Havana of providing refuge to Basque ETA militants and Colombia's FARC.

Relations between Cuba and the US have taken a turn for the better since Obama announced last December that the two countries had decided to put an end to hostilities.

Obama met Cuban President Raul castro at the Summit of the Americas last week in Panama

, where the two leaders extensively discussed improving ties.

Cuba's ultimate exclusion from the list requires the final approval of the Congress, after which both countries will open embassies in Havana and Washington.

mg/bw (AP, Reuters)

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