— -- Cuba and the United States are expected to formally announce the re-opening of embassies in Havana and D.C. next week, ABC News has been told by two sources close to negotiations.
The announcement is expected to come from their respective capitals, following Friday’s anticipated announcement of Cuba’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Cuba is expected to be formally removed from the list 45 days after President Obama announced his intention to remove them, which came in mid-April, and just days after he returned from Panama and the first high level meeting between the two countries since the diplomatic freeze.
The listing, which included them on a list alongside nations such as Syria, Sudan and Iran, has been a sticking point in the negotiations.
Last week, Cuban diplomats met in D.C. with U.S. diplomats in the latest round of talks since the U.S. and Cuba began negotiating normalization in December.
Both sides expressed optimism and called the talks “very productive,” foreseeing an agreement soon, but sticking points remain.
The major sticking point for Americans has been the freedom for staff to move throughout the country; for the Cubans, it was courses provided to Cuban journalists by the U.S. government at the interests section in Havana, which they say fall outside normal diplomatic activities.
The two countries have only operated lower level Interest Sections since the late 1970s in buildings run by the Swiss.
Diplomatic relations were cut off in 1961, with Fidel Castro calling the U.S. embassy a "nest of spies."
Today, renovations are underway in Havana and D.C. as the two buildings are prepared for full embassies staffed with full level ambassadors.
The date of the re-opening has not been confirmed, but that too may be announced next week.