16 Nov 2004

Forum delays French Polynesia fact-finding mission

2:30 pm on 16 November 2004

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has postponed a fact-finding mission to French Polynesia.

Earlier this week, the Forum Secretariat said it had decided to send an envoy to the French territory in order to gather information regarding the current stalemate between long-time ruler Gaston Flosse and pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru.

Reports from Suva, where the Forum Secretariat is based, say it has been told by the French authorities that a Forum mission to French Polynesia as early as this week would be premature as the situation is still evolving.

France is said not to oppose the mission on principle, but it is recommending that it takes place at a later stage, when the situation has stabilised.