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Malcorra bets for an early "political closure" of the EU-Mercosur negotiation

Former Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who will preside over the eleventh ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Buenos Aires in December, will It showed today hopeful in a soon "political closing" of the negotiations between the European Union and the Mercosur.

Buenos Aires, Nov 27 (EFE) .- Former Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who will preside over the eleventh ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Buenos Aires in December, today was hopeful in an early "political closure" of the negotiations between the European Union and Mercosur.

In a meeting with civil society in Buenos Aires to present the agenda of the WTO meeting, Malcorra said that the negotiators of the European Union (EU) and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) work "to piece "with the aim of announcing an agreement in the context of the Buenos Aires ministerial.

" I think we have to give us hope that this is the way it will be, "said Malcorra, who will preside the WTO meeting, to be held from December 10 to 13 in the Argentine capital.

The EU and Mercosur initiated negotiations for a free trade agreement in 2000 and, after several back and forth, they relaunched them in May 2016.

The next round will be held from November 29 to December 5 in Brussels and the parties maintain the objective of closing an understanding before the end of the year.

"It seems important to us that what is happening in the negotiation with the EU, as difficult and as challenging as it is, can be reflected on the occasion of the WTO conference an announcement of a political closure, although things are not yet for the final signature, "said Malcorra.

In his opinion, an announcement of this kind within the framework of the The WTO meeting would have a "very important meaning" in the "crossroads" context of the multilateral trading system, with certain "voices" that show its "skepticism" regarding the current model.

Malcorra stressed that a political agreement of this scope "would show that the fundamental markets, such as the European and the Mercosur, are advancing and confirming their conviction for integration. "

After the meeting with civil society, Malcorra told Efe that the negotiations" are reaching a point of equilibrium more or less close "and that, if that is achieved, the blocks will be able to announce that an agreement has been reached and establish a" peremptory "deadline to finish defining the" fine print "of the pact.

As an example, he recalled that "a couple of months ago the EU announced the closure of its agreement with Japan," which was "a closing political agreement and they are still finishing discussing the small print ".

According to Malcorra," it is evident "that a completely final agreement in all its details" will not be ready to be signed "in December.

But, he stressed "political closure" of the discussions will offer "the possibility of demonstrating a positive energy around such a long-pending issue and putting Mercosur and the EU at the center of the scene. "

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