7 Oct 2008

French Polynesia minister looks at possible Forum link for Francophonie body

10:10 pm on 7 October 2008

French Polynesia's education minister, Teraii Alpha, has met the head of the International Organisation of the Francophonie to explore the possibility of the organisation linking up with the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Alpha met the head of the organisation, the former president of Senegal, Abdou Diouf, in Paris who expressed his wish for the francophone body to become a Forum observer.

The French grouping has 55 member countries whose official language most often is French.

It also has 13 observers, of whom two are in Asia and none in the Pacific.

According to a statement, Mr Diouf has expressed his wish to see French Polynesia immersed in the francophone and to provide a link to the Forum.

Within the International Organisation of the Francophonie, the French overseas territories and colonies have not been eligible for separate membership.