19 Jul 2002

Fiji PM calls on US to alter trade and aid agreements with ACP countriesI

10:37 am on 19 July 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has called on the United States to consider having the same kind of trade and aid agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific states that they have with the European Union.

Mr Qarase says this could lead to greater international co-operation, peace and stability.

He made the call at the summit of ACP states now under way in Nadi ahead of their talks on trade and aid with the EU in September.

Mr Qarase says China should also consider a relationship with the ACP group to build international solidarity.

Mr Qarase, who is the new president of the ACP, says the time ios now right for the group to consider forming a union to enable it to derive maximum benefits from trade, aid, investment and protection of the environment.

He says the ACP must also take a united stand at the World Trade Organisation minister's meeting to be held in Mexico next year.