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Monday, May 21, 2007

Solomons Foreign Affairs Minister off to ACP talks in Brussels today

The Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Immigration Patterson Oti leaves for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) talks in Brussels today.

Mr Oti was nominated as alternative spokesperson for the pacific region to front discussions on issues affecting the ACP in relation to the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, between the European Union and the ACP group.

Samoa is the current spokesperson for the Pacific region and Oti will join his Samoan colleague in Brussels this week.

The ACP talks are aimed at strengthening the group’s intelligent and technical demands ahead of the EU-ACP negotiations over trade between the EU and the ACP.

Some pacific countries have enjoyed trade benefits by having free entry of ACP goods into the EU market.

But the EU has set December 31 as deadline to put an end to that special arrangement.

Mr Oti said the ACP needs sound demands and offers in order to convince the EU on the EPA.

Last week pacific trade ministers met in Fiji to establish some common points to present in this weeks ACP talks.

Minister for National Planning and Aid Coordination Steve Abana who is already in Brussels will join Mr Oti during the talks.

Source: SIBC

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