ROME, March 20 (Reuters) - Italy's foreign minister has written to his Cuban counterpart condemning the jailing of four prominent dissidents, saying it will make dialogue with the communist country more difficult.
Lamberto Dini asked Roberto Robaina to pull out all the stops to ensure the dissidents were released.
The four were convicted of inciting sedition earlier this month and received jail sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to five years.
``The court's condemnation makes it more difficult, both on the national level as well as with our European partners, to move forward with a credible policy of dialogue and reciprocal openness,'' Dini wrote in his letter, released on Saturday.
``I ask you...to do all in your power within the scope of the law to ensure the prison sentences are not served,'' he said.
Several other countries have expressed concern about the closed-door trial of the dissidents. They were said by Cuba's state-controlled press to have called for reforms and civil protests, such as a boycott of elections, and to have warned foreign investors against partnerships with the government.
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