10 Aug 2005

Forum delegation to visit French Polynesia

8:23 pm on 10 August 2005

A Pacific Islands Forum delegation is scheduled to visit French Polynesia later this month.

The Forum secretary-general, Greg Urwin, is to discuss possible Forum membership criteria ahead of the annual Forum summit in Papua New Guinea.

The visit comes after a change of government in March which saw Oscar Temaru returned to the presidency after a win in a by-election.

Mr Temaru is now seeking full Forum membership, reversing his stance of two years ago when he opposed a bid by France for the territory to be included in the Forum.

During the political turmoil in Tahiti late last year France repeatedly refused a Forum request to send a fact-finding mission to Papeete.

France also declined a Forum offer to send observers to the Tahiti by-election which was called after irregularities prompted the French supreme court to annul the election of 37 assembly members.