18 Mar 2005

Cook Islands PM and foreign minister off to Tahiti for Temaru talks

4:23 pm on 18 March 2005

The Cook Islands prime minister, Jim Marurai, and the foreign minister, Tom Marsters, are due to visit Papeete where they will hold talks with French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru.

The weekend visit follows a request from Mr Temaru for both parties to discuss ways in which his administration can help the Cook Islands in its recovery from a series of damaging cyclones.

Mr Marsters says when the cyclones hit, Papeete was the first to call the Cook Islands government and offer services to help in the recovery, and has already sent personnel for the clean-up.

"The request is from the President's office itself, for an opportunity to sit down with the Prime minister and officials from the Cook Islands to see how best Tahiti can contribute to the reconstruction as it were, or assistance towards the hurricane problem in the Cook islands. The President, in the absence of a full report of what's actually happening, wanted to get first-hand from us here where they could best help."

Cook Islands foreign minister Tom Marsters