July 6, 2017 / 11:13 AM / 17 days ago

UK trade minister Fox welcomes progress on EU-Japan trade deal

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Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting, London, Britain July 4, 2017.Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - British trade minister Liam Fox welcomed a free trade pact between the European Union and Japan on Thursday, urging the two sides to maintain momentum as they finalise details of the deal.

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday the agreement was concluded at a meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Signed in Brussels, the "political agreement" is heavy with symbolism and leaves some areas of negotiation still to finish, though officials insist key snags were overcome this week.

"I am pleased to see encouraging progress on such an ambitious trading agreement. I urge both sides to maintain momentum as they work towards a swift conclusion of this deal," Fox said in a statement.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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