Cuban President Raul Castro met the visiting former US President, Jimmy Carter, on March 29, exchanging views on important issues related to bilateral ties and regional and international affairs.

Castro affirmed Cuba 's readiness for dialogue with the US on any issue in order to improve bilateral relations, adding that the dialogue must be based on the principle of equality and mutual respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty.

The meeting was also attended by Carter's wife Rosalynn and the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez.

Talking with the press while visiting Belen Church in downtown Havana , Carter said he hoped that his trip could help improve US-Cuba relations. The trip was aimed at meeting with the Cuban people, government officials and citizens.

The former US president noted that the visit was not intended to request Cuba release US citizen Alain Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail for acting as a spy./.