Barack Obama to attend EU-US summit in Brussels: EU source

Last Updated: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 09:03

Brussels: US President Barack Obama will head to Brussels on March 26 to attend an EU-US summit.
The meeting is expected to give Obama the opportunity to mend ties with the 28-nation bloc, after tensions over revelations that Washington had carried out widespread spying -- including on its key European allies, a European source told.

Leaders at the summit are also expected to discuss negotiations between the two parties towards creating the world`s largest free-trade area to boost growth and jobs in their huge economies.

The EU estimates the free trade deal would bring annual benefits of 119 billion euros (USD 163 billion) for the bloc`s 500 million people, and only slightly less for the United States.

US and EU leaders have set their sights on completing an agreement by late 2014.
At the height of the outrage over Washington`s mass spying scandal, there were fears that negotiations on the free trade deal could be derailed.

Obama yesterday curtailed massive National Security Agency phone surveillance sweeps in a speech intended to quell the furore over Washington`s spy programmes leaked by Edward Snowden.

Before travelling to Brussels, he is due to head to The Hague, where he is expected to attend a summit on nuclear security scheduled for March 24 and 25.

The White House said this week that Obama will meet Pope Francis "in the near future," although it did not specify a date for their much-anticipated first encounter.

AFP


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