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Obama: US will host first talks on EU trade deal

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June 17, 2013 10:38 AM EST | AP

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ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — President Barack Obama says the U.S. will host the first round of negotiations toward a broad trade deal with the European Union next month in Washington.

Obama says there will be sensitivities to overcome by parties on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He says while leaders will be giving strong mandates to their negotiators, he suspects the leaders themselves will have to intervene at certain points to work through hang-ups.

Obama spoke alongside other E.U. leaders ahead of meetings with the Group of 8 industrial nations in Northern Ireland. The leaders were unveiling an agreement to forge a free trade pact designed to slash tariffs, boost exports and fuel badly needed economic growth.