2 Mar 2009

French Polynesia to hold talks on institutions and economic development

7:12 am on 2 March 2009

French Polynesia will within weeks hold broad-based French-sponsored discussions on the territory's institutions and its economic development.

The announcement was made in Paris where French overseas territories leaders have been hosted by the French prime minister, Francois Fillon.

The planned discussions follow an initiative taken by the French

President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to reorganise the administration of all of France's overseas departments and territories - some of which have recently been plunged into social unrest.

Mr Sarkozy says no area should be no taboo when it comes to tackling the situation, adding that he will personally open the process in the Caribbean nation of Guadeloupe.

The junior minister in charge of overseas territories, Yves Jego

says he will be in French Polynesia in May, hoping to redefine financial links between Paris and Papeete.

There has been a thaw in the relationship between the pro-independence French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, and Paris, with Mr Jego welcoming Mr Temaru as a discussion partner who wants to have stability.

In Paris, Mr Temaru told a Tahiti newspaper that they are lucky to have an open-minded president in France.