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03.10.2008 General News

ACP Group decides to engage in high-level talks with EU on EPA's


The Sixth African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) States Group Summit has ended in Accra with a resolution by the Heads of States and Governments to engage in high-level consultations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with a number of European Union (EU) member states with a view of making the EPAs more inclusive to foster regional integration.

This formed part of a three-point decision taken at their two-day meeting in Accra.

They directed the President of the Council and Secretary-General of the Group to explore by the end this month, modalities for conducting the high-level engagement with key stakeholders in the EU.

The Leaders also instructed the Council of Ministers to work on the creation of an ACP Free Trade Area (FTA).

President John Agyekum Kufuor said they wanted the Agreements to reflect a strategic partnership that would be a win-win for all and not one of continued dependence on Europe.

He said the Summit held on the theme: "Promoting Human Security and Development" took short and long term views of the current global challenges including climate change, soaring crude oil and food prices.

The deliberations, he noted, were going to significantly contribute to shaping the destiny of the globe.

President Kufuor underscored the need for member countries of the Group to continue to interact and maintain their close relations and contacts.

About 2,000 delegates including Heads of States and Governments of the 79-member nation Group attended the Accra Summit.

It came off at a critical time when there is turbulence on the global financial market.