Chirac, Vazquez call for progress on trade deal

24th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 24 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his visiting Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vazquez called Monday for progress in stalled talks between the European Union and the Latin American bloc Mercosur on setting up a vast free-trade zone.

PARIS, Oct 24 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his visiting Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vazquez called Monday for progress in stalled talks between the European Union and the Latin American bloc Mercosur on setting up a vast free-trade zone.

Chirac and Vazquez "both said they hoped the agreement could be finalised", the French presidency said, following the two leaders' hour-long meeting.

Talks over setting up a vast free-trade zone of 700 million inhabitants have been underway since 1999, and both sides hope an agreement can be reached at an EU-Latin American summit in Vienna next May.

Mercosur and the EU failed to meet a self-imposed deadline of October 2004 due to Latin American objections over European agricultural subsidies.

Mercosur currently has four members -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- with Venezuela, at the moment an associate member, due to take full membership in December.

Vazquez, in Paris for two days as part of a European tour, was elected Uruguay's first Socialist leader in October last year. The country's swing to the left followed the election of left-wing governments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article