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C America-EU negotiations on association accord end with few advances
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11:56, October 27, 2007

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The first round of negotiations for an Association Accord (ADA) between Central America and the European Union (EU) concluded Friday with few concrete advances.

However, Central America's spokesman Roberto Echandi and European negotiator Joao Aguiar Machado said they were satisfied, as the negotiation's preliminary three frameworks had been defined: political dialogue, free trade and cooperation.

The main accomplishment was the definition of the Roma Accord for Political and Cooperation Dialogue signed in 2003 as a starting point for following discussion rounds.

The EU included in its accord proposal three clauses related to weapons of mass destruction proliferation, the fight against terrorism and international crime.

The Roma Accord was drawn up to define financing mechanisms for programs aimed at promoting democracy, human rights, social cohesion and social development.

The polemic in this round occurred in the trade negotiation, with Central America proposing that a tariff reduction be included in the current General Preference System (SGP).

Aguiar reiterated that this ADA aims to create a zone of stability, development and prosperity in Central America, and therefore he expects greater advances in the next round in Feb. 2009 in Brussels.

Source: Xinhua

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