US: No politics in UAE trade talks

The United States has said its talks with the United Arab Emirates on inking a free trade agreement is purely economic and devoid of any political obligation.

    A US-UAE free trade deal would be the second with a GCC state

    Washington's statement is aimed at denying reports saying that it will ask the UAE to cease its boycott of Israel as part of the deal.

    "This agreement builds on the overall excellent strong and vibrant political and military relations we have with the UAE. This agreement completes these relations," head of the US delegation Catherine Novelli was quoted by the Emirates News Agency as saying on Tuesday.

    She was talking to reporters after ending the first round of a three-day meeting on promoting bilateral trade and investment in the UAE as part of FTA agreement.

    More deals

    Novelli said the first round of trade negotiations with the UAE would be an important stage towards the creation of a Middle East Free Trade Area between countries in the Gulf region and the United States.

    A similar agreement signed by Bahrain and the US last September angered Saudi Arabia, which blamed Manama of signing deals outside the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional bloc unifying six Gulf countries.

    Saudi Crown Prince Abd Allah bin Abd al-Aziz did not attend the last GCC summit, reportedly because of anger towards Bahrain over the deal. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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