Cuba has agreed to begin negotiations with the EU on normalizing ties after a decade of differences and sanctions, Havana's foreign minister said Thursday. Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said his government "accepts with satisfaction" EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton's proposal on February 10 to open the negotiations. Rodriguez said the negotiations "mean the end of the European Union's unilateral policies on Cuba." He said the EU ambassador to Havana, Herman Portocarero, has been notified of the Cuban decision to enter the negotiations. The EU froze relations with Cuba, governed by the Americas' only one-party Communist regime, in 2003 after authorities there threw 75 government opponents behind bars. It resumed contact, however, upon their release in 2008. At talks in Brussels, foreign ministers from the 28-nation bloc endorsed a negotiating mandate for a political and cooperation agreement that will open the way to broader trade and economic ties.