4 Oct 2003

French President may visit Australia during Pacific tour next year

10:08 am on 4 October 2003

The French President, Jacques Chirac, may visit Australia next year in a bid to shore up relations strained by his Government's opposition to the war in Iraq.

A French Embassy spokesman in Sydney said Mr Chirac has tentative plans to include Australia in a tour that would also take him to New Zealand and the French Pacific territory of Wallis and Futuna.

Chirac had planned to visit Australia during a Pacific tour in July this year, but cancelled due to what the Embassy called scheduling problems.