19 Aug 2011

France to lobby against Temaru at Forum, says Flosse

12:09 pm on 19 August 2011

A leading French Polynesian opposition politician, Gaston Flosse, says France will send its foreign minister to next month's Pacific Islands Forum meeting to explain why France is against the decolonisation of French Polynesia.

Mr Flosse made the announcement during an assembly debate in Papeete on a resolution which asks the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to reinscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

He says approving the resolution will be in vain because Paris will lobby Forum members, including the host New Zealand, to oppose the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, who is expected to lobby for Forum support on the matter.

The French embassy in Wellington says the foreign minister's schedule is yet to be finalised.

In the Pacific, France has only reinscribed New Caledonia on the list which the UN drew up after the Second World War.

Mr Temaru has attended the Forum four times before but each time failed to get support for his decolonisation bid.

New Zealand is the only Forum member with a territory on the UN list, which is Tokelau.

Tokelau, however, has voted twice against changing its relationship with Wellington.