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New delay likely in talks on open skies.

EUROPEAN Union transport ministers are considering calling off talks on an open skies deal with Washington until after the US presidential elections in November.

Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio was to brief ministers from the 25 EU countries on progress in the talks, which aim to liberalise rules for US and European airlines in each other's markets.

The ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, were scheduled to decide whether to ask her to keep at it or to put the entire issue on the back burner, probably until after the presidential elections,diplomats said.

US and EU officials hoped to have an open skies agreement ready for signing at the US-EU summit on June 26.

However, both sides see no chance of completing it before then,primarily because the US has refused to budge on the key EU demand: to allow European carriers on US domestic routes.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2004
Words:145
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