The European Union, faced with a deadlock on talks with the bloc of
Andean nations, is to negotiate free trade agreements with Colombia and
Peru, External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferreror-Waldner said
Free-trade talks between the E.U. and members of the Andean
Community, which were supposed to be concluded in the first half of
2009, remain hobbled by divisions among the Andean nations, which also
include Bolivia and Ecuador.
Colombian and Peruvian leaders are keen on sealing a trade pact but
the more leftist governments in Bolivia and Ecuador are reluctant to
“It has not been possible to find consensus with some of the Andean
countries on the way to continue to negotiate,” Ferrero-Waldner said
after talks with the foreign ministers of Colombia and Peru.
“I deplore this, given that the commission has made great efforts,” she said.
“Colombia and Peru have repeatedly shown their willingness to make
progress in trade negotiations with the European Union. I think we
should continue down this track,” she said.
Ecuador, which presides over the Andean Community bloc, canceled a
key meeting this week aimed at trying to rescue negotiations with the
E.U. on an association agreement, which began last year and included a
free-trade pact. (AFP)