The United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in their capital cities, a major step in restoring ties after more than 50 years of hostilities.

The Cuban government says Havana and Washington will restore full diplomatic relations and reopen embassies July 20.

READ ALSO  Cross River: Over 2, 000 tipper drivers embark on strike

The Foreign Ministry in Havana made the announcement Wednesday morning after receiving a letter from President Barack Obama to Cuban President Raul Castro.

The onetime Cold War foes have not had full diplomatic ties for more than five decades.

READ ALSO  Jang swears in caretaker chairmen

The United States’ top diplomat in Havana has delivered a letter from the White House to Cuba about restoring embassies in the countries’ respective capitals.

U.S. Interests Section chief Jeffrey DeLaurentis arrived at the Cuban Foreign Ministry in Havana on Wednesday morning to hand-deliver the message.

READ ALSO  Boko Haram: 7 new army recruits killed, female soldier abducted in fresh attack

Photographers and video journalists were allowed to document the encounter, but neither he nor Cuban officials spoke publicly.