25 Aug 2005

French Polynesia opposition keen on Forum representation

5:46 pm on 25 August 2005

The opposition in French Polynesia says it supports the idea of the territory getting associate membership of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Two leaders of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira spoke with a visiting Forum delegation led by its secretary general, Greg Urwin.

French Polynesia has been a Forum observer since last year, with President Oscar Temaru this year again calling for the territory to be given full membership.

The Tahoeraa says it favours integration into the Forum and says France should be at the negotiating table.

Two years ago, France pushed for Forum membership of its two main Pacific territories.

The move was resisted by Mr Temaru who was at the time in opposition.

This year's Forum leaders summit in Papua New Guinea is expected to revisit the membership status criteria and may introduce associate membership as a new category.