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European and Caribbean leaders ended an historic meeting here today with the EU assuring the Caribbean that its interests would be constantly borne in mind in deliberations within the EU, and in EU representation in deliberations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This, in response to Caribbean concerns about recent developments and the outlook for their key exports of sugar and bananas in the EU and in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The meeting agreed to further strengthen EU-CARIFORUM cooperation in key common areas, HIV/AIDS, Drugs and Crime and Security.

Coming just four weeks after the expansion of the European Union by a further ten Members on 1 May 2004, the meeting this weekend, brought together CARIFORUM Heads of Government, senior officials of The Caribbean Community, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the Secretary-General of CARICOM and CARIFORUM, and the President of the Caribbean Development Bank.

The CARIFORUM delegation was led by the Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, current Chairman of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government. The European Union, represented by the Troika, fielded a delegation led by Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of the Republic of Ireland, current President of the European Union, including the President of the European Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi.

For additional information, contact Mr. David Hales, Caribbean Community Secretariat,

1  15 CARIFORUM Member States: (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago)

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