29 Aug 2012

Pacific ACP leaders urge flexibility from EU over negotiations

9:13 pm on 29 August 2012

Pacific leaders of the African Caribbean and Pacific group of countries have agreed to meet again if an Economic partnership agreement is not concluded with the European Union by October.

EPAs were due to come into force in 2008, but from the region, only Fiji and Papua New Guinea have signed interim agreements, and there has been no formal negotiation since 2009.

Tonga's Prime Minister, Lord Tuivakano, says leaders have noted there's a risk that an EPA may not be concluded by the end of this year.

"Progressing and finalising the EPA will require commitment and flexibility from both the EU and the ACP members. Leaders also urge the EU to take into account the special circumstances of the Pacific ACP countries and show some flexibility in EPA negotiations."

Tonga's Prime Minister, Lord Tuivakano