26 Mar 2013

New Caledonia's Martin keen on avoiding referendum

7:09 pm on 26 March 2013

New Caledonia's president, Harold Martin, says he is in favour of talks that would avert a referendum on independence.

The 1998 Noumea Accord will enter its final phase next year and provides for a possible referendum between 2014 and 2018.

Mr Martin says he would like to find a new accord with the pro-independence camp and the French state.

"to commit to work towards a new accord, and this time for a rather long period to avoid this referendum. Because this referendum would only divide New Caledonians. Over all these years, the Caledonians have shown to be able to agree on everything but not on the question of independence."

New Caledonia's president, Harold Martin,