26 Sep 2003

French military charter to bypass US on way to Pacific

10:26 am on 26 September 2003

The French authorities say a charter flight carrying troops and weapons to their Pacific territories has to fly via Canada because of restrictions imposed by the US.

The commander of the French forces in French Polynesia says the flight from Paris carrying 240 soldiers and their equipment will stop in Vancouver on its route to Papeete and Noumea.

The new stopover was chosen to comply with US demands that planes carry no firearms.

Another such charter flight is to be carried out next week.