By Kim Mackrael
Canada and the European Union have completed negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement on global issues including security, energy and the Arctic.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, announced the agreement at a press conference in Ottawa on Monday. Mr. Baird said the agreement is intended to outline a range of values that Canada and the EU share, including international peace and security, combatting terrorism and human rights.
Ms. Ashton said it would also contribute to deepening ties on energy, arctic, science and technology. The agreement is the first of its kind between the EU and a G7 nation.
The agreement must still undergo a legal review and be approved by the Canadian and European Parliaments before it comes into force.
Canadian and European negotiators finalized the text of a long-promised free trade deal earlier this summer, but the agreement has faced some opposition from within the European Parliament and neither leader would say how soon they expect the final text to be signed.
“There’s rarely unanimity on things of great consequence. We look forward to getting the agreement signed in short order and we look forward to the ratification process,” Mr. Baird said.
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