Visiting European Commission President Romano Prodi and Prime Minister Rafik Hariri agreed to accelerate talks on a Euro-Med partnership.
Lebanon's Economy & Trade Minister Bassel Fleihan will head a team that will go to Brussels next week to flesh out the details of an agreement between Lebanon and the European Union (EU). Sounding an optimistic note, Prime Minister Hariri said that he believed an agreement could be signed sometime before the August vacations. In the meantime, Prodi disclosed that the EU had agreed in principle to import Lebanese agricultural produce but quantitative terms still had to be reached between the parties next week. Negotiations had previously been held-up due to isagreements over tariffs. However, that blockage appeared to be cleared by the government’s recent tariff cuts. Prime Minister Hariri has previously spoken of hopes to obtain compensation of some $460m. ― ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer 
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