13 Apr 2004

French Polynesia wants to set up embassies in Pacific countries

9:20 am on 13 April 2004

The Vice President of French Polynesia says the territory is working towards setting up its own embassies abroad.

Edouard Fritch says they are also hoping to get observer status within the Pacific Islands Forum, now that the territory has more autonomy from France.

Mr Fritch says last week's recommendation to Forum leaders to open up to French and American Pacific territories is an important step forward.

The report, submitted by an eminent persons group at a special Forum meeting in Auckland last week, said this would enhance regional inclusiveness and cooperation.

Mr Fritch says that's good news for French Polynesia, whose president, Gaston Flosse, is working towards greater political autonomy overseas.

"Mr Flosse wanted to have embassies and real representation, political representation in the other countries. And I think, yes, for the next time that we shall succeed because we are working for that today."

The Vice President of French Polynesia Edouard Fritch