2 Jun 2006

French Polynesia threatens Paris summit boycott

1:04 pm on 2 June 2006

The French Polynesian government says it may stay away from this month's planned Paris summit with Pacific Island countries amid disagreements on a range of issues.

The territory's vice-president, Jacqui Drollet, says France has failed to disburse on time just under 100 million US dollars in transfers which he says Paris had agreed to pay.

In a meeting with the French overseas territories minister in Paris, Mr Drollet has asked that a new French airport tax charged in Tahiti be dropped, saying the territorial assembly had twice voted against it.

He also says the territory wants changes to the French laws to allow Japanese visitors to get married without first having to spend a minimum one month in the territory.

The Paris summit will be the second such meeting called by President Jacques Chirac.

Among those confirmed to attend is the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare.