6 Dec 2016

Bareigts defers New Caledonia trip over Valls resignation

12:21 pm on 6 December 2016

The French overseas minister Ericka Bareigts has called off this week's trip to New Caledonia because of the prime minister decision to resign and run for president next year.

Incoming French Overseas Minister, Ericka Bareigts.

French Overseas Minister, Ericka Bareigts Photo: AFP

Ms Bareigts, who was due to visit for four days to launch further measures aimed at curbing youth delinquency, is now due at a later date.

Her decision comes amid speculation that the French government will be reshuffled once a new prime minister has been chosen for Manuel Valls who is about to be replaced.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, with Prime Minister John Key in Auckland.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, with Prime Minister John Key in Auckland. Photo: RNZ/Kim Baker Wilson

Ms Bareigts' trip was originally planned for February but a spike in violence in the Noumea area in late October prompted her to bring the visit forward.

A Paris meeting with New Caledonian leaders a month ago ended with her and the justice minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas committing to visiting New Caledonia this year.

At the same time, the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced a visit in February to coincide with the deployment of an additional 53 police officers.

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