9 Sep 2011

French foreign minister claims Tahiti wants to stay with France

5:27 pm on 9 September 2011

The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, has told journalists in Auckland that French Polynesian voters have repeatedly stated their desire to remain with France.

Mr Juppe, who is the first French foreign minister to visit New Zealand in 28 years, has attended the post Forum dialogue - a day after the Forum leaders rejected a French Polynesian bid to get support for reinscription on the UN decolonisation list.

Mr Juppe welcomed the stance, which was spearheaded by New Zealand and Australia.

"I appreciate very much the final declaration of the summit on this point. As you know, the people of Polynesia expressed themselves several times and said its attachment to the French republic. So we have to respect the will of the population on this point."

Alain Juppe attended the Auckland meeting accompanied by a former French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang.