Thursday, October 01, 2009

Euro top brass in for talks

Euro top brass in for talks - Thursday, October 01, 2009

A HIGH-powered meeting of Pacific partners of the African, Caribbean and the Pacific group of states and the European Commission is being held in Nadi.

Delegation of the European Commission for the Pacific media adviser Samisoni Pareti said the commission, which is the EU's executive body, is holding a regional meeting with its Pacific ACP partners starting today and ending on Saturday.

He said the meeting is being attended by staff from the EC delegations in the Pacific and representatives from Brussels.

"In the course of the regional seminar, EC officials will have talks with representatives from all Pacific ACP countries attending the meeting," he said. Earlier, EU spokesman Stefan Stantejsky said representatives from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands would attend the meeting.

But he could not disclose whether sugar was one of the items on the agenda.

Last week, the European Union Council extended for six months the sanctions placed on Fiji two years ago. A statement sent by the EU said the extension was to assist Fiji's return to democracy, the respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The deadline expires on March 31, 2010. The EU said the extension was a window of opportunity for a possible new political dialogue.

"Should these consultations result in new credible commitments from Fiji, the EU is ready to review its measures positively," the statement said.

"The package of measures for the Fiji Islands had initially been adopted on 1 October, 2007, for a period of two years."

"This marked the conclusion of consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, which were held in 2007.

"The appropriate measures currently in place are designed to assist the Fiji Islands in the transition: the development cooperation would gradually be resumed if Fiji were to fulfill its commitments concerning human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law."

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