5 Jun 2006

Centrist party in French Polynesia urges government to attend summit in Paris

9:31 am on 5 June 2006

French Polynesia's centrist No Oe E Te Nunaa Party has urged the territory's government to reconsider its threat to boycott this month's Paris summit called by France with Pacific Island countries.

Last week, the French Polynesian vice-president, Jacqui Drollet, urged France to make promised financial transfers and rescind an airport tax now levied in Tahiti or the Temaru government would stay away from the gathering called by President Jacques Chirac.

The No Oe E Te Nunaa says it's against such a threat and warns that a possible diplomatic incident between Paris and Papeete could have serious consequences for French Polynesia's people.

The Paris summit will mark the second time Mr Chirac has invited all Pacific Island Forum leaders.

The first one was held in Papeete three years ago when Australia was the only country to be absent.

Among the leaders attending this year is the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

The Paris meeting comes one month after Japan hosted Pacific leaders and two months after China invited leaders of Pacific countries that don't recognise Taiwan.