30 Nov 2010

Vanuatu warns France of court action to settle island dspute

4:07 pm on 30 November 2010

Vanuatu has warned France that it is considering going to the International Court of Justice over the disputed islands of Mathew and Hunter.

The Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, says documents are ready to file a case against France, which claims the islands as part of its territory of New Caledonia.

Mr Natapei says the case will be lodged if the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, continues to uphold France's claims to the two uninhabited islands.

He says since the creation of the world, the two islands have geographically been part of Vanuatu.

Last Saturday, Mr Natapei told more than 100 people joining a so-called solidarity march that nobody else has the right to claim the two islands.

The march was marked by the unveiling of a monument dedicated to Mathew and Hunter at the entry of Port Vila.