Following two years of negotiations, the European Union and Cuba on Friday signed a draft agreement for dialog and cooperation.
"I am here to celebrate a historic step in our relations," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in announcing the agreement in Havana.
The accord must now be approved by the parliaments of both the EU and Cuba. The two sides hope to sign off on the official agreement soon, according to a joint statement.
By reaching the agreement with Cuba the EU seeks to create a new foundation for its relationship with the communist Caribbean nation. Since 1996, the EU's policy in respect to Cuba has been based upon the "common position," which called for improving human rights on the island.
Cuba is the only Latin American country that does not have an agreement for political dialog with the EU.