Belgium saying Wallonia talks on EU-Canada deal progressing

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2016 12:25 PM
Belgium saying Wallonia talks on EU-Canada deal progressing

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian government says that talks to convince the region of Wallonia to give its vital consent to a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada are making progress, two days before it is supposed to be signed at a summit.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Tuesday that Belgian negotiators "really are at the final texts" but added that "as you know, there is the last comma, the last word, which are probably the most important."

The trans-Atlantic trade deal needs unanimity among all 28 EU nations, but Belgium is withholding its signature because it also needs all of its regions to back it and Wallonia has resolutely refused to do so.

Wallonia leader Paul Magnette says he refuses to negotiate under deadline pressure.