EU eyes stronger ties with strategic partners

11:57, September 12, 2010      

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The European Union (EU) needs to forge stronger relations with its strategic partners, including China, the bloc's foreign policy chief said Saturday.

It is necessary for the 27-member group to build "big economic and political partnerships that have the potential to change our lives," Catherine Ashton said at a news conference at the conclusion of a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Recalling her visit to China last week, Ashton, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, singled out Beijing as a partner with which the EU needs to enhance ties.

The topic will also lead the agenda of the EU Council meeting next week in Brussels, Ashton said.

During the so-called Gymnich meeting, named after a German castle where the first gathering of its kind was held in 1974, EU's top diplomats also discussed aid to Pakistan and Turkey's EU accession negotiations.

It is important to re-examine the EU's approach to help Pakistan in order to facilitate the rebuilding process of the flooding-stricken Asian country and make practical decisions regarding trade, Ashton said.

"Foreign ministers want to see something that will actually support Pakistan at this particular time. That will now be turned into what we do in terms of action," she said.

Source: Xinhua


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