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Fiji, PNG mum on EPA signing

Fiji Times

Fiji, PNG mum on EPA signing

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

FIJI and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are silent on reports they were pressured into signing an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.

While the EU is expected to issue a statement later, its spokesperson Debbie Singh said she understood the signing was to proceed on Monday in Brussels.

According to Radio Fiji Gold News, Ms Singh said the Charge d’Affaires Robert de Raeve was away until Thursday but was expected to reply to media queries on his return.

PNG High Commissioner, Peter Eafeare is away in Tonga and will be back in the country on Friday.

His deputy, Julie Wapo told Fiji Times Online through an officer she could not comment on the issue and it would have to wait until Mr Eafeare returned.

Interim Prime Minister, Commander Bainimarama is reported to have directed all queries to interim Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, who is currently in Tonga.

Yesterday, the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG) warned the signing of the EPA may have future implications.

PANG coordinator Roshni Sami says Fiji and PNG were pressured into signing the agreement because they had a lot more to lose than other Pacific Island nations.

The Forum Secretariat has been unable to comment on the impact of the signing on the region, says Radio Fiji Gold News.

 source: Fiji Times