27 Jun 2008

French military cut in Tahiti not a disengagement

1:31 pm on 27 June 2008

The outgoing French high commissioner in French Polynesia, Anne Boquet, says it's not right to describe the planned pullout of some French military from Tahiti as a disengagement.

She made the comment in an interview with the Depeche newspaper as she was inducted into the order of Tahiti Nui.

Ms Boquet acknowledges the French government's plan to reduce its overseas military presence and says this is taking place in a difficult budgetary context.

She says the global strategy is less about the number of soldiers but improved equipment in a adjustment to new threats.

There are concerns in Tahiti about the economic impact of the military downgrade.

To assess this, the president, Gaston Tong Sang, says a joint committee will begin sitting next year and possibly formulate recommendations on the size of the compensation to be asked from Paris.