Foreign Ministers of the nine European Economic Community countries met in Brussels in Belgium on Tuesday (17 January) to agree a joint approach to next week's key international trade talks in Geneva.
Foreign Ministers of the nine European Economic Community countries met in Brussels in Belgium on Tuesday (17 January) to agree a joint approach to next week's key international trade talks in Geneva. They also agreed to offer Cyprus more favourable terms of its agricultural exports to the EEC.
SYNOPSIS: The one-day meeting was the first chaired by the Danish Foreign Minister Mr. Knud Andersen since Denmark took over the six-months Presidency of the Common Market's Council of Ministers. At the top of their agenda proposals put forward by the Community's Executive Commission for the EEC's negotiating position at the talks in Geneva on Monday.
The ministers gave EEC negotiators the go-ahead to support United States proposals for 40 percent tariff cuts, but set guidelines which make it clear that, in practice, they will seek smaller reductions. France insisted 40 percent was too high. Officials said afterwards that major outcome of the meeting was general agreement to press ahead with next weeks talks.
These talks are aimed at lowering tariff and other barriers to international trade. The decision to offer Cyprus better terms of agricultural exports came following a suggestion from the EEC's executive commission. Talks on the issue were broken off by Nicosia last month. Germany, Denmark and Holland backed Britain's long-standing insistence that special terms be offered to the island.