[PARIS] French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday a long-awaited EU-US trade deal would not be agreed before US President Barack Obama leaves office in January.
"The current discussions on the treaty between Europe and the United States will not lead to an agreement by the end of the year," Mr Hollande said.
Earlier Tuesday, France's pointman on the talks, junior trade minister trade Matthias Fekl, said Paris was going to call for the negotiations to be suspended.
Mr Hollande said in a speech to France's diplomatic corps: "France would rather see things as they are and not harbour the illusion that an agreement will be struck before the end of the US president's term in office."
Mr Fekl said the negotiations no longer had "political support" in France because the US negotiators "give nothing or just crumbs".
He told RMC radio that the best approach would be to halt the talks "in order to restart on a good foundation".