US-Cuba relations
Barack Obama meets Cuban President Raul Castro and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Panama CityHandout/Reuters

The US has formally removed Cuba from its terror blacklist in another sign of rapprochement since the diplomatic relations improved in the past few months, the state department has announced in a statement.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry made the final decision after the end of the 45-day Congressional pre-notification period.

"The rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission. While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation," it said.

The move allows Cuba to conduct banking with the US among other activities.

Relations between the US and Cuba have been steadily improving since US President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro announced on 17 December that they would restore full diplomatic relations. On 23 May, a fourth round of talks between the two countries ended with "significant progress" made, but no announcement as to when embassies would be reopened.