Ecuador to refrain from EU free trade deal

QUITO: Ecuador will not sign a free trade deal with the European Union, President Rafael Correa said, criticizing the tenor of talks between the two.

"The European Union can give (the deal) whatever pretty name it wants, but we are headed toward a free trade agreement, and we will not accept that," Correa said on Saturday.

Speaking during a weekly television and radio address, the leftist leader accused the EU of trying to reach a deal that mimics rules of the World Trade Organization, which is steering global trade liberalisation negotiations.

Andean countries -- with the exception of Bolivia -- are currently negotiating an Association Agreement with the Brussels-centered bloc.