12 Jun 2012

Fiji says ACP will push for sugar fund release

3:07 pm on 12 June 2012

Fiji's Ambassador to Brussels says African, Caribbean and Pacific ministers will ask the European Union to release funds for the country's sugar industry.

The ACP Council of Ministers is meeting in Vanuatu now, and will meet with the European Council of Ministers later in the week.

Aid for the struggling Fiji sugar industry has been withheld since 2007 as a result of the military coup.

Peceli Vocea says the chair of the sugar committee will write to the European Commission, asking for the funds to be released.

He says he believes the moves towards elections in 2014 will be enough.

"I think they are already talking, I mean, Australia for instance has given, what 2.6 million Australian [dollars]?. Isn't that an indication good enough to persuade other countries to come in? The European Commission, I believe has already discussed this option. And I believe there will be a lot, and not only a lot, but very quick, movement in the next few months."

Peceli Vocea says a joint ACP/EU fact-finding mission will head to Fiji soon to report on the progress towards democracy.