The India-European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is likely to take some time, said the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, on Monday.

Addressing the media after a preparatory meeting in Bangalore before the Indo-EU summit scheduled to be held in February, Ms. Ashton said although “significant progress” had been made, the “finer details” of the agreement would take some more time. She refused to elaborate on a timeframe in which the agreement would be ready. “It is important that the agreement be a sustainable one,” she added.

External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said all Indians, barring an Indian crew member aboard the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the Italian west coast, had been rescued.

Asked if the Indian Government had expressed any objections to the U.S. Administration's negotiations with the Taliban, Mr. Krishna said, “Who does the negotiations is not our business, but we have drawn some red lines on the issue.”

Ms. Ashton said EU member countries were engaged in talks on the planned embargo on oil from Iran.

Keywords: European UnionFTA

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