Egypt announced Tuesday it was ready to sign an association agreement with the European Union after five years of negotiations, paving the way for reduction of tariffs.
A foreign ministry statement said Egypt's embassy in Brussels had been ordered to fix a date for the signing "within the coming few days."
Egyptian industrial exports to the EU will be exempt from customs duties as soon as the agreement is signed, the statement said, while other tariffs will be reduced over a longer period of time.
Similar agreements have already been signed between the EU and Israel, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinians and Tunisia with the aim of creating a free trade zone between the EU and the Mediterranean region.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said the EU is committed to "supporting Egypt's economic abilities, modernizing its production structures and technology" under the partnership accord. — (AFP, Cairo)
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