7 Jun 2013

France says territories to play strategic role for Paris

12:50 pm on 7 June 2013

The French overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has given a policy speech, saying each of the territories plays a particular role for France's strategic interests.

In the speech reported in Tahiti, the minister says Paris will assist the territories in integrating in the regional environment to foster co-operation with the European Union.

Mr Lurel says the territories play a role in the change of energy production, as a hub for experiments to boost French know-how and to help with health care delivery.

He also says the territories need to be integrated in their respective region to help with France's delivery of aid.

France has three territories in the Pacific, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, and French Polynesia, which alone gets about two billion US dollars in transfers from France a year.

Last month, the United Nations defied France and reinscribed French Polynesia on the decolonisation list.