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Posted On: 16 December 2008 08:41 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar warns GCC may suspend free trade deal talks with EU

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Qatar warned yesterday that the GCC would suspend talks on a free trade deal with the European Union if an impasse in the 20-year-old negotiations continues. “Some day in the near future the GCC states will decide to suspend the talks which have so far had no result,” Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani told journalists. The GCC has been in talks with the EU about a free trade agreement since 1988. Prime Minister said the accord should have been signed at the end of November during a visit to Qatar by Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France which holds the rotating EU presidency. He said the European Union “retracted at the last minute.” “The negotiations with Europe have gone on for too long, and our European partner must know that the talks cannot last indefinitely,” he said. Europe “is the GCC’s largest trading partner, and if it wishes to expand on that partnership it must reconsider” its position on the talks, he said.