US-Cuba relations
US President Barack Obama reaches out to shake hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro as they hold a bilateral meeting during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, PanamaJonathan Ernst/Reuters

Cuba has gained access to banking services in the US, just two days ahead of another round of diplomatic talks between the two nations. The Cuban diplomatic mission has been barred from opening a bank account in the US since the trade and financial embargo on Cuba in 1962.

US State Department officials refused to name the bank the Cuban diplomats will have access to, but were optimistic ahead of the talks on 21 May.

The talks, which will be held in Washington DC, may be the last round before the nations re-open their respective embassies, the BBC reported. The US is also scheduled to remove the Caribbean island nation from its list of state sponsors of terrorism on 29 May.

Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters on 12 May that the countries would name ambassadors to each other's countries after Cuba is removed from the sponsors of terrorism list.

As previously reported by IBTimes UK, the meeting on Thursday will focus on the reopening of the embassies. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodrigues told AFP, "In the coming weeks, there will be a new round of negotiations in Washington on re-establishing diplomatic relations and opening embassies."

Historic diplomatic progress

Thursday's diplomatic talks will be led by US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson and her Cuban counterpart, the general director of Cuba's US division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Josefina Vidal Ferreiro.

The neighbouring nations have made historic progress in their diplomatic relationship over the last few months. US President Barack Obama and Castro announced on 17 December that full diplomatic ties between the two countries would be restored.

The Cuban embassy in Washington DC is expected to be open first, followed by the opening of the US embassy in Havana.