(Associated Press) Canada walked out of talks Friday meant to save a massive trade deal with the European Union, unable to break a deadlock with a small Belgian region that has been defying multinational efforts to have the pact signed next week.
Fighting back tears, Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said it had been impossible to overcome the differences with Wallonia, a French-speaking region of barely 3.5 million people.
Despite the stunning setback, European officials refused to accept that the pact, which had been agreed on provisionally two years ago, could not be saved. The impasse, however, raises troubling questions about the 28-nation EU's ability to negotiate major international agreements.
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