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EU keen to deepen ties with Pacific on number of issues
3:53 pm GMT+12, 09/02/2020, Fiji

The European Union's ambassador to the Pacific says he wants to deepen ties on issues like supporting multilateralism and the fight against climate change.
 
The EU is one of the region's largest donors, but the Suva-based ambassador, Sujiro Seam, said he was working to make the EU's relationship with the region more than an aid donor.
 
He said his bloc's support for the Pacific on issues like multilateralism and climate change were increasingly important.
 
“The top priorities of the new leadership of the European Union is very much on par with the Pacific priority issues. And mainly, it means that the new top priority for the European Union is the European Union green deal."
 
The EU Green Deal, announced in December, aims to have the entire bloc carbon neutral by 2050.
 
Sujiro Seam said it was also too early to say if the Pacific's in line for any of the bloc's increased aid budget.
 
The bloc's aid budget is set to increase by about 30 percent to US$142 billion over the next seven years.
 
It's also pledged to make its systems for accessing money simpler and more flexible.
 
Ambassador Seam said it was too soon to say whether the Pacific would be in line for a significant increase.
 
“The specifics of how much money will be allocated to this region, I think it's premature to say because the discussion is still ongoing on the multi-annual financial framework of the European Union.”
 
“Personally, I do not anticipate a decrease in our level of assistance to the region, to the contrary,” he said.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS


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