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UPDATED: 09:51, March 01, 2006
Syria, EU hold talks on partnership association pact
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Syria and the European Union on Tuesday held talks on means to facilitate the final approval of an association agreement initialled more than a year ago.

A European Parliament delegation, headed by Beatrice Patrie, held separate meetings with Syrian Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs Abdullah Dardari and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, according to the official SANA news agency.

Patrie underlined the importance of dialogue between Syria and the EU to reach a common understanding to pave the way for the final approval of the Syrian-EU Partnership Association agreement, SANA said.

The Syrian officials briefed Patrie on measures taken by Syria to implement the modernization and development process, particularly the 10th Five-Year Plan and steps towards the social market economy.

Patrie told reporters after the meetings that the EU Parliament will continue to exchange opinions with Syria to overcome difficulties that hinder the final approval of the association deal.

Syria and the EU initialled the association agreement in October 2004 in Brussels, but the final signature was postponed after the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri last February, which Syria was accused of involvement.

Source: Xinhua

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