11 Dec 2007

New Caledonian call on France to keep commitments

3:09 pm on 11 December 2007

New Caledonia's leading party, the Future Together, has called on France to assume its responsibilities as the territory's leaders are about to review the 1998 Noumea accord on greater autonomy.

One of its leaders, Philippe Gomes, says in particular there is a need for an enhanced role of the French state in the area of security, justice and defence.

In alluding to the change of president in France, Mr Gomes says this should be reflected in actions matched by the rhetoric.

He says there have been delays in the disbursement of funds for New Caledonia.

His comments come as the accord signatories are to meet in Paris next week to review progress in implementing the document.

The anti-independence camp has been reluctant to adhere to the timetable for the phased and irreversible transfer of powers from France to New Caledonia.