24 Nov 2004

First round of meetings on French Polynesia political crisis held in Paris

11:12 am on 24 November 2004

A first roundtable meeting has ended in Paris aimed at ending the political crisis in French Polynesia.

The talks involved the French overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, and all top party leaders from French Polynesia, including Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru.

Many are in Paris for the second time in less than a month.

A joint statement issued after the meeting says a peaceful climate has to be maintained for democracy to work in the territory.

Bilateral meetings have been scheduled for the next two days before a plenary session in three days.

All parties, except President Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira and the French government, want a dissolution of the territorial assembly after last month's defection of one of Mr Temaru's MPs to Mr Flosse's camp.

The presidential palace in Papeete is still being occupied by supporters of the Temaru-led coalition in a bid to force France to call fresh elections.