EU agrees on talks with US to begin July 8

VILNIUS, Lithuania - The head of the EU's executive commission says that the European Union and the United States have reached an agreement that talks on trade and concerns over American intelligence activities will begin at the same time on July 8.

Jose Manuel Barroso said Friday that meetings on a trans-Atlantic free-trade deal will be begin as scheduled, with "our American partners" agreeing to launch consultations on "íssues of serious concern ... relating to some intelligence activities."

Barroso spoke in the Lithuanian capital, two days after some European states voiced concerns that the discussions would be delayed over reports of US spying on European institutions and countries.

Barroso said he hoped the process would "build and reinforce confidence" in helping to "pursue the very ambitious agreements" between the two sides.

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