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EU to continue FTA talks with Peru, Colombia

Xinhua 2008-12-20

EU to continue FTA talks with Peru, Colombia

LIMA, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) said Friday that it had decided to pursue a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) deal with Peru and Colombia despite reservations from Bolivia and Ecuador.

The EU decision was announced by the French ambassador to Peru, Cecile Pozzo di Borgo, who affirmed that the EU had agreed on the issue in Brussels, Belgium.

"The negotiation had to continue with the countries that were ready to move ahead," said Pozzo, referring to Peru and Colombia.

Pozzo, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, made the remarks after a private meeting with Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Garcia Belaunde and representatives from the European Council.

The EU is pursuing an FTA with Peru and Colombia within its negotiations for a strategic association agreement with the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), which groups Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Bolivia and Ecuador agree with the strategic association deal but not FTA, as their leaders are more wary of liberalizing trade with Europe.

Peru and Colombia, frustrated by slow free trade negotiations between the EU and the CAN, had in September formally asked Brussels to pursue swifter bilateral talks with them.

 source: Xinhua