25 Jul 2009

Uncertainty remains over who will chair summit in New Caledonia

8:26 am on 25 July 2009

With less than a week to go until France is to host its summit with Pacific leaders in New Caledonia, it is not clear who will chair the event.

The French foreign ministry has been unable to confirm that it will be the foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner.

Earlier, New Caledonia expected the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife to be in Noumea for the occasion.

However, Mr Kouchner was then asked to stand in together with the junior minister in charge of overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, who will be in New Caledonia for her first visit to the Territory.

Most Pacific Island countries are expected to be represented including New Zealand but Fiji has not been invited.

The one day summit will be held next Friday.