5 Sep 2003

French delegation to visit Australia

3:24 pm on 5 September 2003

New Caledonia's territorial president, Pierre Frogier, is to lead a six-member delegation of French parliamentarians to Australia next week.

The French MPs will be in Australia for five days from Tuesday, during which time they will meet the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, the Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, and other MPs.

Meanwhile, the French State Secretary, Renaud Muselier, has announced that he will visit Australia before the end of the year.

Mr Muselier said last month that a visit to Australia by the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, with him, had had to be cancelled.

Mr Muselier said in Paris recently that strengthening ties and partnerships with Australia and New Zealand must be a priority of France in the Pacific.