24 Feb 2003

The President of French Polynesia says France wants to renew ties with the Pacific

11:45 am on 24 February 2003

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says France would like to set up a relationship with Pacific Island countries afters ties were largely lost.

Mr Flosse, who is on a visit to Fiji, says with its territories such as French Polyensia and New Caledonia, it can strengthen its position.

He says a meeting is planned for late July in Papeete between President Jacques Chirac and Pacific Islands leaders.

His words are translated.

"I hope that after the president has passed through, by the way it was him that asked me to do the impossible in trying to invite everybody for a meeting reunion... he would like to meet everybody, renew contacts and launch again some co-operation between France and the countries of the Pacific."