20 Oct 2010

Fiji urges EU to reconsider stance on withholding sugar funding

12:37 pm on 20 October 2010

The Fiji government has urged the European Union to reconsider its stance on withholding sugar funding for Fiji - a measure imposed after the Fiji regime reneged on a promise made to Brussels following the 2006 military coup.

Fiji Village reports that the Ministry of Information says Fiji's Ambassador to the EU, Peceli Vocea, made the call at the hearing of European Parliament's Committee on International Trade.

This comes less than a month after the EU extended its sanctions against Fiji because of the continued lack of progress towards restoring democracy as Fiji had agreed to with the EU in 2007.

However, Mr Vocea told the committee Fiji urges the European Parliament to review its policy on withholding sugar funds from Fiji, if the desired objectives of the interim agreement are to be realized.

He says the situation and political landscape in Fiji have changed, along with the responsibility of the European Parliament, since the inception of the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Vocea urged the European Parliament to continue to focus on the Pacific region's comprehensive EPA negotiations with a clear understanding on the development aspect of the EPA that should be of high importance to the region.