Syria, EU to Hold New Talks on Partnership Agreement Next Week
A new round of talks between Syria and the European Union (EU) on concluding a trade association agreement will be held in Brussels on July 18, Syrian Planning Minister Issam Zaim said Tuesday.
"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.
Syrian negotiators have prepared a detailed list of industrial and agricultural products, which would be exempt from EU tariffs.
Syria and the EU concluded their last round of negotiations on April 24 , with both sides saying they had defined their areas of difference.
An association agreement between Syria and the EU has been in the works since 1998.
The deal will give the EU preferential access to the still-closed Syrian market and should result in a free trade zone by 2010.
During a February visit to Damascus, European Commission President Roman Prodi said he expected an EU-Syria association agreement to be reached by the summer – Albawaba.com