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EU to resume Central America trade talks

BRUSSELS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The resolution of the Honduras political crisis could mean the quick resumption of Central American trade talks, European Union officials say.

The Spanish EU presidency said Friday that with Porfirio Lobo sworn in as president of Honduras and the exile of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, the decks have cleared for the EU to restore normal relations with the Central American country, as well as for the resumption of negotiations on a bi-regional Association Agreement.

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The EU presidency said European Commission and Central American trade negotiators are set to meet informally in Brussels next week for three days starting Monday to "take stock of the negotiations with a view to restarting them at the end of February."

The Spanish Presidency said it is strategically important that relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (or LAC) countries be in proper order and expressed hope that negotiations on the Association Agreement could be wrapped up in time for the May 18 Madrid celebration of the 6th EU-LAC Summit.

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