29 Jul 2004

French Polynesia formally invited to Pacific Islands Forum summit

7:30 pm on 29 July 2004

The Pacific Islands Forum secretariat has confirmed that the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, has been invited to next week's Forum summit in Samoa.

And sources in Suva say the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, may also join the meeting in Apia.

The Forum's secretary-general, Greg Urwin, has told a news conference that Samoa as the host nation had already extended an invitation to Mr Temaru.

Mr Urwin says the Forum meeting may announce that French Polynesia will be admitted as an observer.

France had been lobbying for this for five years and when in opposition last year, Mr Temaru objected to the move, opting instead for seeking Forum support for independence.