Leaders from the French Pacific island of Futuna say the French president Jacques Chirac has promised them that the island is to become a sub-prefecture.
This comes after Futuna's two kings had a 90-minute meeting with Mr
Chirac in Paris following talks with the prime minister, Dominique
de Villepin, and the overseas territories minister, Francois
The two kings were accompanied by the Futuna assembly president and
the territory's two representatives in the French legislature.
The Futuna delegation has called for better shipping and air links
to the neighbouring island of Wallis which has an international
Futuna has a population of about 5,000 and chooses new kings about
every four years.
On Wallis, the current king has been in power since 1959.
A French-backed attempt to replace him last year prompted an armed
rebellion by his backers and forced France to reconfirm his status.