S Korean, US presidents to discuss progress on FTA

19:21, November 09, 2009      

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will discuss ways to ratify the South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama when they meet for a bilateral summit in Seoul later this month, the presidential office said Monday.

According to presidential spokesperson Kim Eun-hye, South Koreais hoping that President Obama will take a more aggressive stance on the South Korea-U.S. FTA and the country is now working toward the end.

"The heads of the two countries have repeatedly affirmed their efforts to bring forth the ratification of the FTA and will discuss ways on the issue again at the upcoming summit meeting," Kim said.

She noted, however, that the issue is unlikely to be settled at the upcoming summit.

"Their remarks from the summit or at a joint press conference will be only a means to carry their message," Kim said, adding that a joint statement on the ratification of the FTA is unlikely this time.

The U.S. president will arrive here on Nov. 18 after his participation in the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore.

Seoul and Washington signed the trade pact in June 2007, but the agreement is still awaiting ratification by both their respective legislatures.

Source: Xinhua
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