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After three years of intense lobbying to participate at the Pacific ACP Leaders meeting, Fiji has succeeded in getting all 13 Leaders to agree to its inclusion.
The decision made at a special PACP Leaders meeting in Port Moresby Wednesday has been described by the Fiji Government as ‘historical.’
According to a government statement, the 13 Leaders met separately before the decision to invite Fiji was conveyed to Fijian Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali confirmed to journalists after the meeting that all 14 countries of the PACP Group will now participate together in all meetings and in all activities relating to PACP.
“Today’s decision allows the region to work together in the best economic interest of the Pacific Islands and as far as the European Union is concerned.”
Following today’s decision the government of Papua New Guinea has offered to host the first secretariat of the PACP Leaders meeting. In addition, the standing chairperson for the Pacific Islands Forum can be allocated that period to chair the PACP meeting as well.
Currently, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat provides administrative support to the PACP Leaders meeting.
Ali reiterated Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s message that the outcomes of today’s meeting would bring “the PACP family back together”
Speaking on Fijian radio station, Legend FM, Prime Minister Bainimarama thanked Pacific Leaders for their decision to include Fiji’s full participation at PACP meetings. He commended officials from Foreign Affairs and Trade for their hard work, which he said has paid off.
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