23 Oct 2007

French Polynesia says several Pacific countries could not support its decolonisation bid

11:22 am on 23 October 2007

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says for internal reasons several Pacific countries, such as Fiji and Papua New Guinea, could not support his bid for French Polynesia to be decolonised.

Mr Temaru used his address at last week's Pacific Islands Forum to call for the region to give the same support as to New Caledonia which France has put back on the UN decolonisation list.

He says the issue was not mentioned in the Forum communiqué but it will again be on raised at the Forum next year.

Mr Temaru also defended his reported absence from a Forum session with the French overseas territories minister, Christian Estrosi.

He says they had talks after the formal dinner hosted by the Tongan king and will meet within days again when Mr Estrosi visits Tahiti.

Mr Temaru also says leaders of other French Pacific territories have focused on the Paris link while he has continuously had ties with Pacific leaders.