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Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Hon Hubert Ingraham will carry the message of ACP unity from the Caribbean to the Pacific when he addresses Pacific leaders in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on September 17.

Mr Ingraham, who will be accompanied by CARICOM Secretary-General Mr Edwin Carrington to the three-day Pacific Forum, the Summit meeting of Pacific leaders, was designated to represent the Community as the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries continue to seek consensus on the post Lome IV relationship with Europe. The Lome IV agreement, a trade and aid package which guides economic relations between Europe and the ACP countries, expires in the year 2000 and negotiations for a new agreement are scheduled to begin next year.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister of Dominica, the Hon. Edison James represented the Region at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Summit in Harare, Zimbabwe on a similar mission to Mr Ingraham. At the Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Montego Bay, Jamaica last July, Dr the Hon. Nathan Shamuyarira, Minister of Industry and Commerce addressed Caribbean leaders as a special envoy of the then Chairman of the OAU, His Excellency Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe who is also chairman of the ACP Group.

These exchanges among the ACP countries will culminate in a summit meeting scheduled for Gabon in November at which positions and strategies for negotiations for the successor agreement to Lomé IV will be considered.

Secretary-General Carrington will go on from the Cook Islands to London for talks with his counterpart, Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyokou. He will then proceed to Brussels, in response to an invitation from the European Union (EU), for a meeting of the ACP and the EU at which a final look will be taken at the Green Paper published by the European Commission on the future of relations between the two groups of countries. These discussions are scheduled for September 29 and 30.

On leaving Brussels, the Secretary-General will head for New York where he will participate in a number of meetings including the informal meeting of Caribbean Foreign Ministers who will be attending the United Nations General Assembly Session.

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