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Pacific ready for EPA talks

June 16, 2015 6:31 pm

The European Union says a suggestion to defer negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement is for the benefit of Pacific Island states.

European Commissioner for International Cooperation Neven Mimica says it’s merely a proposal and not set in stone.

Commissioner Mimica stressed the EU stand that EPA negotiations can’t continue until the matter of fisheries conservation is resolved.

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However the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat says member states are ready to proceed with negotiations.

Deputy Secretary General Andie Fong Toy says fisheries conservation in the Pacific is in good hands.

“We feel that we don’t need 3 years. What we are strongly advocating for, is a return to the negotiation table at the ministerial level so that we can conclude as soon as possible.”

Forum Fisheries and Trade Ministers will meet later this month to work on a reply for the EU proposal to defer EPA negotiations.

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