6 Jan 2011

Sarkozy to visit New Caledonia this year

4:07 pm on 6 January 2011

Paris has confirmed that the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, will visit New Caledonia this year.

The visit is to coincide with the Pacific Games in Noumea at the end of August and will be his only visit to the Pacific this year.

He was due to make an official visit to New Caledonia in 2008 but pulled out just weeks before his planned departure.

In recent years, Mr Sarkozy's political associates in both New Caledonia and French Polynesia have repeatedly announced that he would visit but since taking over the ruling UMP Party he has made no trip to the Pacific.