Fw: Travel pool report #3 4/9/15 - Obama comments on Cuba

----- Original Message -----
From: Julie Davis [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 11:42 AM
To: Allen, Jessica
Subject: Travel pool report #3 4/9/15 - Obama comments on Cuba

At 10:44 a.m., your pool was led into a spacious meeting room where
POTUS and Simpson Miller sat side by side at the head and aides were
along either side. I will save color for a forthcoming report, but
POTUS made news by announcing the 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, where it will go through an interagency process before being
presented to him. He did not say what the recommendation was. Please
check quotations against the transcript as it was very difficult to

"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," he said.

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.

Motorcade rolled at 11:20 for POTUS' meeting with Caribbean leaders
and arrived at 11:30. Additional details on the Simpson Miller bilat
will come to you soon.

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx mobile

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