CCTV | 2010-01-19
EU still committed to signing free trade accord with C.America
MEXICO CITY, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — A senior European Union (EU) official on Monday stressed the 27-nation bloc’s commitment to signing a free trade agreement with Central American nations.
EU Trade Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner said the accord would be signed on May 18 in Madrid.
"We are firmly committed to completing these negotiations (for signing the accord)," she told reporters in Guatemala City, where she is on an official visit. The commissioner is also traveling to El Salvador and Costa Rica later this week.
The EU trade commissioner also said the EU was closely following the development in Honduras.
The European Union "hopes the nation will normalize in the near future" so that it can be a full partner in the trade talks, she said.
Talks on a free trade agreement began in June 2007, and the first round concluded by scheduling the next round for February 2009. But the process of the negotiations was affected by the Honduran coup.
The agreement, known as the EU-Central America association accord, aims at creating a zone of stability, development and prosperity in Central America through forging political dialogue, free trade and cooperation with the European Union.