8 Jun 2010

French overseas territories minister praises New Caledonia's political leaders

9:33 pm on 8 June 2010

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has praised New Caledonia's political leaders at the end of a four-day visit.

Mrs Penchard says despite differences among them, they show great responsibility and maturity in efforts to build their future.

Following meetings with a cross-section of representatives, she says signs for the success of the follow-up talks on the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy due in Paris later this month are good.

The meeting will discuss the constitutionally mandated transfer of power from France to New Caledonia ahead of a referendum on independence which may be organised after 2014.

Issues still to to be dealt with also include New Caledonia's choice of a new flag and hymn.