The French high commissoner to New Caledonia has walked out of a sitting of the territory's collegial government after allegedly being provoked.
Jean-Jacques Brot has told the AFP news agency that the vice-president, Gilbert Tyuienon, displayed an aggressive and provocative attitude.
There are conflicting reports about whether Mr Tyuienon used condescending words during the meeting.
One official says the walk-out is linked to Mr Brot's recently aborted trip to Canala where Mr Tyuienon is the mayor.
He says the visit was planned on condition that Mr Brot lay a wreath in Canala on the grave of a Kanak pro-independence leader, Eloi Machoro, who was killed in 1985 by a French anti-terror unit.
Mr Brot says he regrets the blackmail and is awating the next meeting of the New Caledonian government.