The French prime minister Edouard Philippe has called for renewed dialogue in New Caledonia after two politicians quit a 10 member leaders group he had helped create.
With the independence referendum eight months away, Mr Philippe said it is essential that the dialogue is not broken or even interrupted.
Mr Philippe suggested the formation of the so-called G10 for confidential discussions on the aftermath of the referendum.
However, Sonia Backes and Thierry Santa, who are both anti-independence politicians, quit the group last week after another anti-independence politician Philippe Gomes revealed part of their deliberations.
Mr Gomes said they had all agreed to propose 4th November as the independence referendum date.
His party said all 10 leaders have also agreed on accompanying statements, including one which said colonisation brought with it the negation of the Kanak people.
In his interview with les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, the French prime minister also defended comments by a top French parliamentarian Manuel Valls who said he hoped New Caledonia would stay French.
The remark has unsettled pro-independence politicians but Mr Philippe said he is entitled to his view.
He said this will not alter the French government's impartiality.