New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement says it has been
reassured by the French prime minister Francois Fillon's announcement
that he will personally convene a meeting of the signatories to the 1998
There have been delays in implemeting the decolonisation roadmap and Mr
Fillon has now said he will meet the pro- and anti-independence factions
in Paris before the end of the year as part of the French state's
commitment to the document.
The FLNKS has welcomed Mr Fillon's stance as a strong signal and at the
same time described it as a reprimand of the overseas territories
minister, Christian Estrosi, whose comments on New Caledonia earlier this
month upset some politicians.
The FLNKS accused the minister, who called for a bigger role for France,
of siding with the anti-independence leaders who object to aspects of the
scheduled transfer of powers from Paris to Noumea.
It accused the minister of causing a new political crisis but he told the media that his comments were misunderstood.