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Talks to prioritize ease of travel between Fiji and EU

May 23, 2018 6:36 pm

Visa free travel for Fijians to the European Union could become a reality sooner rather than later.

The Fiji EU enhanced political dialogue commenced yesterday with both parties putting the issue on the agenda.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama voiced his frustration that there had been no progress on the visa issue despite discussions three years ago.

“It is unfortunate that we still find ourselves discussing the issuance of visas for Fijians travelling to EU member countries Three years ago, we raised this issue with the EU, yet today we can’t report that any progress has been made.”

The EU’s Head of the Pacific Delegation Ambassador Julian Wilson noted that it was a priority area for this round of negotiations.

“You made the reference yourself Mr. Prime Minister to one high on our list which is how we can best ease travel arrangements between Fiji and the EU. This will include facilitating Fiji’s request for visa free travel to the EU, a goal I believe we all share and for finding means to allow for the easy application for Schengen visas here in Fiji until the visa free travel becomes a reality.”

Meanwhile other issues of discussion will centre on climate action and how the EU can continue to assist the sugar sector to maintain the stability of the market with the expiration last year of the EU production quotas.

The two day high level meeting will conclude today with an agreed set of actions that’s expected to strengthen the alliance between Fiji and the EU.