EU-Arab association pacts discussed in Syria

Published April 10th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Arab ministers are due to meet Wednesday, April 11, in Damascus to discuss the trade association agreements between the EU and Arab countries, Jordanian Planning Minister Jawad Hadeed said Monday. 

 

Quoted by the official Petra agency, Hadeed said he would take part in the meeting which should also be attended by ministers from Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon. 

 

"The meeting will focus on coordinating efforts between the Arab countries involved", he said, adding the aim was to "overcome the competition problems posed by goods imported" from Europe. 

 

He said the purpose of the meeting was also to "reach a common strategy in order to improve or modify some of the clauses of the association agreements to the advantage of Arab countries". 

 

The Euro-Mediterranean (Euromed) forum, founded in Barcelona in 1995 groups the 15 European Union countries, the Arab countries of the Mediterranean and Israel, and is aimed at establishing bilateral association agreements. 

 

The EU has already signed such agreements with Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and two Arab countries: Tunisia and Morocco. A similar agreement was initialed by Egypt in January, and Jordan also signed one, which still needs to be implemented. 

 

The EU also reached an interim agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and is negotiating with Algeria, Syria and Lebanon. — (AFP, Amman) 

 

© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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