19 May 2011

Fillon continues talks with New Caledonia parties

1:33 pm on 19 May 2011

Several New Caledonian pro-independence parties have been received by the French prime minister, Francois Fillon, as Paris seeks to solve the territory's political crisis.

Four governments in Noumea have collapsed this year amid a deepening row over which flag the territory should use.

A law change is being proposed by Paris to give a New Caledonian government an 18-month grace period to end serial resignations as seen this year.

Mr Fillon has met five more parties, including the Caledonian Union, which prompted the first government collapse in February.

Its leader, Charles Pidjot, has expressed his support for the plan put in place to avoid a repeat of the crisis.

Mr Fillon is to hold a third day of talks with New Caledonia delegates, many of whom are likely to be back in Paris next month to discuss the implementation of the Noumea Accord.