28 Jul 2004

French Polynesia poised to become Forum observer

11:29 am on 28 July 2004

French Polynesia may be granted observer status at next week's Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Samoa.

A Forum delegation visited the French territory earlier this month and has recommended that it be given observer status.

A delegation member Jean Sese said all politicians in French Polynesia now wanted the territory to take part in the Forum.

France has been pushing for observer status but when in opposition, the French Polynesian president Oscar Temaru was opposed to it as he was seeking to get the territory back on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.

A New Zealand government official says with the changes to the territory's autonomy statute this year and the election of a pro-independence government, Forum leaders could ease the way for observer status.