27 Mar 2006

French High Commissioner to discuss issues with French Polynesia President

10:12 am on 27 March 2006

The French high commissioner in Papeete has called for a meeting with the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, after she accused him of discrediting France.

Anne Boquet says Mr Temaru cannot wish to normalise relations with Paris while distancing himself from what she calls the values of the French republic.

She issued a statement after Mr Temaru told a meeting in the Austral islands that colonialism is an impediment to development and that French Polynesia needed to assume its sovereignty.

He went on to say France wanted its possessions in the Pacific to integrate into the region, adding that they should do so as independent states.

Mr Temaru also re-iterated that like all powers, France committed itself to decolonisation.

He demanded that French Polynesia be re-inscribed on the United Nations list of non-selfgoverning territories but Mrs Boquet says independence is not on the agenda.

The opposition in Tahiti says Mr Temaru has travelled to English-speaking countries to lobby for independence but no Pacific country has publicly backed Mr Temaru's campaign for decolonisation.

No date has been set for Mrs Boquet's meeting with Mr Temaru who later this week is to host French Overseas Terriories Minister, Francois Baroin, on his first ministerial visit to Tahiti.