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Trinidad and Tobago hold talks with European Union on Cotonou agreement


Trinidad and Tobago hold talks with European Union on Cotonou agreement

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PORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago Friday said it held “constructive” talks with a delegation from the European Union that focused on “bilateral, regional and international issues”.

A brief statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, noted that the discussions were held within “the framework of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement”.

The 2000 Cotonou Agreement, which comes to an end in 2020, is considered a comprehensive partnership agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and last month, ACP legislators meeting in Brussels called for a “radical departure” from the traditional relationship with the EU.

With less than one year to go before negotiations begin for a new partnership framework between the two parties, one of the key issues of concern for the ACP is the state of preparations, including the shared principles and rationales that would guide the process.

ACP Secretary General Dr P.I. Gomes has already said that the underpinnings of the entire process for a post-Cotonou agreement rests on the fundamental aim of achieving the structural transformation of ACP economies.

In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign And CARICOM Affairs said that the discussions “were constructive and focused on . . . issues including economic relations; climate change; Caribbean and Latin American affairs; the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals; security cooperation; and work being undertaken by Trinidad and Tobago with respect to its international commitments regarding fisheries management.

It said that “both sides also explored opportunities for support from the European Union to enhance private sector investment and economic diversification through the use of European Union financing instruments.”

The Trinidad and Tobago delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dennis Moses while the EU team was led by Aad Biesebroek, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union. (CMC)