26 Jun 2006

French Polynesia explains failed Paris encounter

11:05 am on 26 June 2006

There has been a further statement from the French Polynesian government to explain why President Oscar Temaru failed to attend a private meeting in Paris with the French President, Jacques Chirac.

It says Mr Temaru has sought a meeting before leaving Papeete and after failing to get a confirmation wrote once more last Thursday.

The statement says he made arrangements for Friday when no reply had been received to the second request by nine o'clock in the morning.

It says he could not be reached until late in the afternoon.

Another meeting with Mr Chirac during the day involving delegates from the other French territories in the Pacific went ahead without Mr Temaru.

Mr Temaru's absence from the planned private encounter, which would have been their first, has caused an outcry among Mr Temaru's political opponents.