Syria, EU to hold new round of talks mid-July
The 7th round of negotiations on an association agreement to be signed between Syria and the European Union (EU) will convene in Brussels on July 18, according to the Syrian planning minister, Issam Zaim.
The deal will give the EU preferential access to the still-closed Syrian market and should result in a free trade zone by 2010, according to AFP.
Syria and the EU have held several rounds of negotiations on an association agreement since 1998. Following the last round of talks, concluded in April, the Syrians have prepared a list of industrial goods and agricultural produce intended for export, which they want to see exempted from EU tariffs.
"We are going to continue discussions on the question of commercial and political exchanges. The Syrian side wants to negotiate with a positive and constructive spirit in searching for a balanced partnership," Zaim was quoted as saying by the official Syrian News Agency, SANA.
The EU has so far given Syria aid worth $68 million and loans of $176 million to finance programs for modernisation and social and economic development. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)