US Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez have held talks, in the highest level meeting between the two countries in more than half a century.
The two held closed-door discussions after arriving in Panama for a summit.
Meanwhile, the US state department has reportedly recommended that Cuba be removed from its list of states said to sponsor terrorism.
Such a move could pave the way for the two countries re-opening embassies.
US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro are also due to hold their first formal meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama over the coming days.
Few details have emerged from the meeting between Mr Kerry and Mr Rodriguez. The last comparable high-level meeting was in 1959, when Fidel Castro met then Vice-President Richard Nixon.
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