26 May 2003

Vanuatu's prime minister meets his French counterpart

11:32 am on 26 May 2003

The French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, has met his Vanuatu counterpart, Edward Natapei in Paris.

Mr Raffarin told Mr Natapei, who is on a five day trip, that France is very much attached to the Pacific region.

Vanuatu was under joint French and British rule until it gained independence in 1980.

Both leaders say they would like to increase co-operation between France and Vanuatu.

The prime minister's visit coincides with an announcement from the Paris-based OECD that Vanuatu is no longer on the so-called blacklist of unco-operative tax havens.