FIJI PM SAYS OVERSEAS RELATIONS ON MEND

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SUVA, Fiji (Radio Fiji, Dec. 31) - Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says the government has achieved the target of enhancing its relationship with overseas donor countries.

Speaking with Bula 100FM News in Suva, Qarase says countries including Australia and New Zealand have renewed ties and confidence with Fiji after the 2000 crisis.

The Prime Minister says all the trade bans have been lifted as the country returns to normality.

He says the European Union (EU) is yet to lift its ban on further assistance to Fiji in the next five years as they are awaiting the court case by the Labor Party on the multi party cabinet.

Qarase says once a court decision is made the EU will review its decision to lift that ban.

"The funding is proposed for projects to be implemented next year. The ban doesn't affect assistance for the new Rewa Bridge and rubbish dump for Suva.

According to Qarase. diplomatic ties between EU and countries in the African Caribbean and Pacific group (ACP) are intact.

He adds that any new agreement made in future with those countries including the European Union will greatly benefit Fiji.

December 19, 2002

Radio Fiji, www.radiofiji.org

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