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US urges Ecuador, Colombia to end talks for free trade pacts
Updated: 2005-12-09 09:41

The United States hopes to complete negotiations with Ecuador and Colombia for free trade agreements as soon as possible, US Ambassador to Ecuador Linda Jewell told reporters on Thursday.

Jewell said she was pleased by Peru's decision to sign a free trade pact with her country on Wednesday. It was an example Colombia and Ecuador should follow, she said.

The ambassador hoped Ecuador would do the same, saying both Ecuador and the United States should make concessions for the goal.

"We will start face-to-face conversations with Ecuador at the end of January," Jewell said.

She added the military base in Ecuador's Manta region which has been leased to the United States for 10 years for anti-drug operations, would not be a part of the free trade pact.

Colombia and Ecuador withdrew from the 19-month-old regional trade talks with Washington late last month for differences over agriculture and intellectual property policies.

In response to a request from Ecuador, US President George W. Bush has agreed to extend trade talks with Quito till the end of January next year.

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