Prime minister of Guinea Bissau begins preparations for Geneva round table meeting

25 October 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 25 Oct – The Guinea Bissau prime minister, Aristides Gomes. Tuesday noted the importance that the Geneva round table meeting had for his country’s development on concluding the first stage of a tour that will take him to several donor countries.

In Lisbon, Gomes had a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, José Sócrates, and then travelled on to Madrid on a mission to raise awareness of donors to the success of the meeting set for November 7 and 8 in Geneva, Switzerland, and which will also take him to Paris, Rome, Brussels and Washington.

“We have decided to move ahead with the Portuguese government as part of the contact group that has been working towards the success of the meeting and also includes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) and other African countries,” Gomes told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

This contact group is also going to work on, “making promises that may be made in Geneva come to fruition,” he added.

Guinea Bissau plans to collect some US$400 million in donations at the round table to support projects included in the National Strategy Document for Reducing Poverty (DENARP), as well as Defense and Security reforms.

As well as requesting financial help from donors, the Guinea Bissau government intended to ask for a debt pardon from several countries, as debt servicing absorbed a large part of the country’s revenues. (macauhub)