28 Jun 2014

Pacific-European summit proposed

8:24 am on 28 June 2014

Pacific diplomats in Brussels are proposing a summit of Pacific leaders with their counterparts in Europe, with hopes of lifting the profile of Pacific Countries in Europe.

Samoa's Ambassador Pao Luteru and his Vanuatu counterpart in Brussels, Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy are spearheading discussions to hold the first high level political meeting possibly next year.

Ambassador Roy told Pacnews the rationale behind this proposal is to get Pacific leaders to meet their counterparts and put their cards on the table and discuss what should come to the Pacific.

He says he and Ambassador Pao have put together a dossier which will be presented to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders summit in Palau in August.

He says Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels have seen the growing interest the Europe Union is placing on relations with African and Caribbean nations.

He says they have seen how the Caribbean and the African leaders hold annual summits with the European Leaders while the Pacific has never organised any kind of high level meeting.

He says it's high time such meetings take place because the current Cotonou Agreement, which forms the basis of African, Caribbean and Pacific-EU relations, comes to an end in 2020.