President Barack Obama and Raul Castro set to meet at the Summit of the Americas


Day two of the Summit of the Americas opened in Panama City where President Barack Obama and Cuba’sRaul Castro are due to hold their first formal meeting.

None has been formally scheduled between the two but White House officials have indicated substantive talks are almost certain to go ahead.

It is the seventh summit and the first which Cuba has attended. An Obama-Castro meeting will be another historic step in the two countries softening relationship.

The first day of the summit was dominated by the brief meeting between the US president and Raul Castro and the handshake at the opening ceremony.

It was their first encounter since a thaw in relations began in December last year. President Obama it is believed will raise the issue of political reform and human rights in Cuba.

The Summit of the Americas brings together leaders of North, Central and South America. In the past the US has come under criticism for its embargo against Cuba and its objection to Cuban participation.