28 Jul 2003

French Polynesia looks for MSG backing for Forum observer status

5:03 pm on 28 July 2003

French Polynesia's pro independence movement says it will seek the support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to advance its cause at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in New Zealand next month.

This comes as France suggests that French Polynesia, with its partial autonomy be admitted as a Forum observer.

Walter Zweifel reports from Papeete:

"The separatist leader Oscar Temaru says he wants independence and the Forum support for French Polynesia to be put back on the UN list of territories to be decolonised just like New Caledonia. He says there has been little backing for his course by Polynesian countries. The chair of the Spearhead group Roch Wamytan of New Caledonia is in Tahiti with other Melanesian leaders for tomorrow's regional summit hosted by the French president Jaques Chirac"