12 Apr 2011

Penchard to go to Wallis for 50th anniversary events

2:03 pm on 12 April 2011

The French overseas territories ministry says the minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, will visit Wallis and Futuna in July to mark the 50th anniversary of the territory's status.

It 1961, it was made a French overseas territory but has since been redefined as a so-called overseas collectivity, whose executive is run by a French prefect.

A delegation from the territory has been in Paris, with the assembly president, Siliako Lauhea, saying there is no question of changing the status.

The ministry says any initiative for alterations should emanate from Wallis and Futuna.

The Paris talks have centred on improving air links and on preparing the 2013 Pacific mini games.

The territory has the French republic's only three kingdoms.