31 Mar 2006

French minister begins official visit to French Polynesia

9:38 am on 31 March 2006

The French overseas territories minister, Francois Baroin, has arrived in Papeete on his first visit to French Polynesia as government minister.

He was met by the territory's president, Oscar Temaru, and the french high commissioner, Anne Boquet.

Mr Baroin will spend four days in the territory and is scheduled to visit several outer islands, including the Marquesas.

His visit comes after Mr Temaru repeatedly spoke about his wish to decolonise the territory.

The call has prompted the French high commissioner to rebuke him twice within a week while it has angered the opposition which now says there is no longer room for Mr Temaru at the territory's helm.