EU, C.America 'finalising' free trade deal: delegate

18th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Central American countries are close to an agreement with the European Union over a free trade deal and are finalising the details, one of the Central American negotiators told AFP Tuesday.

There was an agreement in principle and "we are in the final details," putting them down on paper, said the source.

"I am sure the deal is going to be closed ... in the next few hours," he said, saying that both sides had taken a flexible position.

A European Commission spokesman approached by AFP said only that the European Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht and several Central American ministers had called a press conference in Madrid for 9:00 am (0700 GMT).

But a little earlier, El Salvador television carried comments from the Salvadorean chief of cabinet Alexander Segovia, in Madrid, who said that talks had closed successfully.

"There was a show of flexibility by the European Union and with that we managed to get to an agreement," he said.

In Nicaragua meanwhile, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that they had reached a basic agreement with the EU.

Six Central American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama have been in talks with the European Union over an agreement that would included free trade deal.

It would be the first of its kind between the EU and Central America.

© 2010 AFP

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