|EU-Lebanon Association Agreement|
|The EU-Lebanon Association Agreement was initialled on 10 January in Brussels by the two negotiators in the presence of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, European Commission President Romano Prodi and European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten.
The Agreement should be signed in the spring. Although ratification by Parliaments in Lebanon and the EU is required for the Agreement to enter into force, both sides have agreed on the principle of an Interim Agreement to allow for rapid implementation of the trade provisions.
The Interim Agreement is expected to take effect by mid-2002. The Association Agreement itself provides for trade liberalisation, political dialogue, as well as co-operation in a wide variety of sectors (see our next Special Feature for details).
At a joint press conference with Mr Hariri, President Prodi stated "Now on our side there is the absolute priority of relations with the Mediterranean".
Brussels,02 07 2002
European Union Redaction