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BRUSSELS, Belgium (December 17, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---The African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers has unanimously approved Fiji's offer to host the 3rd ACP Heads of State and Government Summit in 2002.

The first summit was held in Libreville, Gabon, in West Africa in 1997 and the second was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean in 1999. The third will now be held in Fiji before September of next year.

Fiji's Ambassador to the European Union, Isikeli Mataitoga, submitted the government's offer.

Ambassador Mataitoga said in getting unanimous approval of the ministers of 78 developing countries, Fiji's road to full acceptance in the family of nations is well and truly established.

"These are important signals that Fiji has now recovered from the recent political upheavals," Ambassador Mataitoga said.

Ambassador Mataitoga said Fiji will now have an opportunity to showcase itself to the world.

"Our tourism industry will benefit from the visit to our shores of so many dignitaries and delegations," Ambassador Mataitoga said.

The Fiji Summit is expected to consider and approve the mandate of the ACP Group to start the negotiations for a new trading arrangement with the European Union. This was agreed to under the new partnership agreement (the Cotonou Agreement) signed in June 2000.

Another issue that will be considered by the heads of government and state is the review of the ACP Group Constitution -- the Georgetown Agreement.

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