(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – President Bouterse underscores that cooperation with the European Union should be based on mutual interests and not meddling in Suriname’s internal affairs. “I’m looking forward to continuing our dialogue under Article 8 of the Cotonou Treaty.”
Robert Kopecký, EU Ambassador for Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago visited Suriname to celebrate Europe Day. He assured that the announced Article 8 dialogue is by no means a reprimand for Suriname. “Several talks will be held on the macro-economic development, opportunities for investments and introduction of the economic partnership agreement between EU and Cariforum. We’ll certainly discuss the recently adopted Amnesty Act and the establishment of a truth commission, but there will be no sanctions.”
The agenda of the Article 8 dialogue also includes regional Caricom and Unasur developments. Launching the dialogue should be considered a platform that will benefit both parties. It is to foster mutual Understanding, an instrument that should contribute to peace and safety as well as help improving a stable democratic political surroundings.
In his address on the celebration of Europe Day, President Bouterse said he considers attempts by an EU member (The Netherlands) to destabilize Suriname as quite irresponsible. “This will in no way affect the relations between Suriname, the Caricom and the European Union.” The government of Suriname is happy with the EU’s right policy. “The EU clearly shows that it is aware of the importance to maintain the best of relations with developing countries.”
The Article 8 dialogue was reported earlier as a means by the European Union to reprimand Suriname for adopting the Amnesty Act. It was announced as the toughest measure by the EU before it would impose sanctions. Although the amnesty issue is on the agenda EU Ambassador Kopecký denies political measures against Suriname. It is the first time that an Article 8 dialogue will be held with Suriname. It is scheduled for the latter half of May.