AGCC chief blames EU for stalling free trade deal

KUWAIT CITY - The Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council chief (AGCC) yesterday blasted the European Union for "procrastinating" the conclusion of a free trade deal, as a senior Gulf official said 15 years of talks might be suspended.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 8 Apr 2004, 12:03 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:35 AM

"Negotiations started one and a half decades ago. Unfortunately at each round of talks, certain political issues are raised (by the European Union). These have delayed striking the deal," AGCC secretary-general Abdulrahman Al Attiya told reporters in Kuwait.

"Sometimes they talk about human rights, a second time on weapons of mass destruction and also on other issues," said Attiya.

The AGCC chief and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah will visit Brussels on May 19 for talks with EU officials.

"We will try to iron out differences, otherwise we will have a different opinion... I believe that (their) pretexts are invalid... we must complete the deal," he added.

"We want to sign the deal for which we have been negotiating for 15 years, but I think they are procrastinating," added Attiya.

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