THE European Union has been asked to be flexible on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the Pacific-ACP countries.
The call came from the Pacific ACP leaders themselves during their meeting in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands on August 28.
At the meeting, the leaders decided that the next round of negotiations to be done by the Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) on October 1 to 5 and resolve some of the remaining contentious issues.
"Noting the initial focus on development co-operation in the EPA negotiations has been superceded by a focus on technical trade issues, the Pacific ACP leaders are seeking a re-emphasis on the original intent for a development friendly EPA," a statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat said.
"PACP leaders agreed that following the JTWG meeting, the PACP trade ministers will seek a meeting with the European Commission to successfully conclude PACP-EU EPA negotiations."