- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2013

France is pushing to put a temporary stop to trade talks between the European Union and the United States until the Obama administration releases more details about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program.

“We don’t want to abandon negotiations on the free trade agreement with the U.S., but it seems wise to suspend them temporarily, for 15 days, as we wait for the information we have demanded,” a French government official said, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The trade talks are supposed to start next week, centered on the creation of a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone.

So far, European Union officials haven’t caved to French demands. But French officials are vowing to keep up the pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported.

And the European Commission — the main trade negotiator for the European Union — has expressed concerns about the NSA leaks. Germany, meanwhile, is vowing to keep the issue alive at next week’s talks and said it will find a way to diplomatically weave its privacy concerns into the trade discussions, Newser reported.

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