Wednesday, 12 December 2012

EU-ACP summit: big success for Suriname

By playing host to the EU-ACP summit Suriname has placed itself distinctly in the spotlight. “The country has won the European hearts,” Dutch press wrote. “We all had a completely wrong impression of this country,” said co-chair Louis Michel during the closing press conference. “The conference was very well-organised, and so is Surinamese society. The economy is growing, and the government puts a lot of efforts to achieve its goals. Our eyes are opened.”
According to him, the so-called 'Article 8 dialogue' is a proper means to discuss the poor bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Suriname. In May, the Article 8 dialogue about the Amnesty Law ended in a fierce discussion between Europe and Suriname. (See Suriname Politics & Security – 04.06.12). On that occasion, the Surinamese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Lackin, said that he had felt “almost screwed” by the EU.
During the conference the atmosphere in Paramaribo was remarkably better than it was six months ago. “We should hold on to that. The Amnesty Law should not hinder a constructive discussion,” said Michel. “This was a historic conference,” mused one Surinamese journalist, “Should the Netherlands and Suriname start talks in a few years' time, then we can say that it has all started here.”
For more news and expert analysis about Suriname, please see Suriname Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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