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Andean nations, US advance on environmental issue in FTA talks, 2005-04-21

Andean nations, US advance on environmental issue in FTA talks

LIMA, April 20 (Xinhuanet) — The Andean countries and the United States have advanced on the environmental issue in their talks about a free trade agreement (FTA), said Peruvian vice foreign minister Pablo de la Flor said on Wednesday.

"The United States proposed for the first time a text on biological diversity. The issue has been made an item in the article on Environmental Cooperation," said the Peruvian official,who is also Peru’s chief negotiator.

He said that the US side consider it a must to link biodiversity to trade cooperation.

De la Flor said that a draft proposal has been made and examined although there is nothing concrete yet for a final or consensus-based agreement.

Peru, Colombia and Ecuador — three members of the Andean Community (ANCOM) — formed a common front in negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, while the two other members of the sub-regional bloc, Bolivia and Venezuela, abstained.

Currently the 9th round of negotiations, which started on Monday, is taking place in Lima and the negotiating teams will stay there till April 22.

 source: Xinhua