Fiji and EU to hold next political dialogue in Brussels in 2016
June 16, 2015 6:39 pm
Fiji and the European Union have agreed to hold their second enhanced political dialogue in Brussels, Belgium, in the second half of next year.
This was decided after their first high level dialogue in Suva this week.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the EU rep Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics reviewed political relations and strategic priorities between the two parties.
Rinkevics says the EU has taken on board Fiji’s request for a visa free status to EU member states.
He congratulated Fiji on the establishment of Parliament and the Fiji’s decision to rejoin the Inter-Parliamentary Association.
He also welcomed the complete abolition of death penalty in Fiji and the government’s decision to ratify UNCAT.
Rinkevics commended the establishment and appointment of the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination COmmission, Fiji’s achievements in empowering women through policy and legislative means, and recalled the importance of enhancing efforts to eradicate gender based violence.
He also reaffirmed the EU’s support through the 11th European Development Fund to help the sugar sector.
Moreover, Fiji has made a submission to the EU through the ACP Ministerial Committee on Sugar seeking additional support in it’s wish for a rapid disbursement of funds to help complete it’s sugar reforms.
Fiji has also applied the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement to ensure continued access to the EU market for it’s exports, adding the speedy conclusion of the comprehensive EPA is essential for the economic growth of the region.
The EU-Fiji-PNG Joint Trade Committee will discuss all issues relating to this in their next meeting in Brussels at the end of this month.
The EU rep also commended Fiji for the establishment of the Green Growth Framework and Fiji’s contribution to peacekeeping in the Golan Heights.