- Cape Verde's Prime Minister José Maria Neves, who is currently visiting a number of European countries, is in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg today. The issue of a special partnership between Praia and the European Union (EU) will be the main item on the Prime Minister's agenda.
Cape Verde and its European Union allies plan to hold a meeting in the first trimester of 2006 to discuss relations between the archipelago and the community. This is one of the results of the visit Prime Minister José Maria Neves is making to Luxembourg, where he arrived Monday after spending the weekend in Portugal.
The meeting in question, 'A Semana Online' has learned, will take place during the first trimester of 2006 in Luxembourg following legislative elections in Cape Verde. In addition to Luxembourg and Cape Verde, the meeting will be attended by the representatives of the governments of Portugal, Spain, France and possible other countries.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, one of the "godfathers" of the tightening of ties between Cape Verde and the EU, received José Maria Neves yesterday. Cape Verde has also received strong back-up from its former colonial power, Portugal, regarding the Praia government's ambitious plan to get a special partnership with the EU. PM Neves has even spoken of the final goal being full EU membership.
During their meeting in Luxembourg, the two Prime Ministers also agreed that PM Juncker would visit Cape Verde for the second time in three years immediately following the 22 January legislative elections in the archipelago. Luxembourg is one of Cape Verde's major donor countries.
In addition to political contacts with Luxembourg's authorities, José Maria Neves has also scheduled meetings with representatives and organisations working for the integration of the country's sizable Cape Verdean community. These organisations include the Spencer Committee, the Scouts and other youth associations working in the realm of violence and drug prevention.
Tomorrow and Thursday, Mr Neves will be in Italy. On Friday he will continue on to France, and on Sunday will arrive in the Netherlands. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Cape Verde on Monday, 21 November.
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