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Australian PM Abbott hopes for 'swift, satisfactory' end to Japan trade talks

Published on Apr 6, 2014 2:34 PM
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday that he hoped for a quick conclusion to thorny free trade negotiations with Japan but suggested time might be needed to ensure conclusion of a satisfactory pact. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday that he hoped for a quick conclusion to thorny free trade negotiations with Japan but suggested time might be needed to ensure conclusion of a "satisfactory" pact.

Ministers from both nations took part in a five-hour session on Saturday that ended well into the evening without agreement on several substantial issues, Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said. He termed the talks exhausting, but said progress had been made.

Mr Abbott told reporters that he hoped a conclusion was near for the negotiations, launched in 2007.

"I am optimistic about the free trade negotiations, but they have been difficult negotiations," Mr Abbott said, according to a transcript provided by the Australian government.

 
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