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Barroso: EU Working Towards Lifting Arms Ban Against China
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European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso told visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday that the European Union (EU) was working to lift the arms embargo against China, even though the lifting was not "imminent."

"The EU has agreed to work towards lifting the arms embargo on China, but further work is necessary," Barroso told a press conference after he met with Abe, who paid his first visit to the EU headquarters as prime minister.

Barroso made the statement despite that Abe made it clear that Japan opposes the lifting of arms embargo against China by the EU.

However, Barroso said the decision was made by the EU member states and he saw no "imminent" lifting on the ban of arms sales to China.

"The EU has said that such a measure when it happens would not lead to a qualitative or quantitative increase in arms sales and technical work is continuing," he added.

The EU has maintained its arms embargo against China for 17 years.

(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2007)

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