27 Jan 2012

French embassies in Pacific to house New Caledonia delegates

12:47 pm on 27 January 2012

France says it will accommodate New Caledonian delegates at five of its embassies in the Pacific.

The move has been formalised in Paris with New Caledonia's president, Harold Martin, who says this will advance co-operation with neighbouring countries in line with provisions of the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy.

The French ambassador to New Zealand, Francis Etienne, says the delegate will deal with issues pertaining to scientific and regional co-operation.

"It will be the contact you can identify if you need to be in contact from New Zealand to New Caledonia. It's a great support, it's a great reinforcement of our relationship and something completely new in our diplomatic organisation."

Francis Etienne says the New Caledonian delegate is supposed to work in a technical capacity and not meant to have a foreign policy role.

Such delegates will also be deployed in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia.