4 Aug 2014

French Pacific upset at Forum rebuff

2:32 pm on 4 August 2014

French media reports regret that the two main French Pacific territories have failed in their bids to become full members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

They are associate Forum members, but it is being noted that the final Forum communique issued after last week's summit in Palau failed to mention the applications of New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

A diplomatic source is quoted as saying accepting the territories, which are both on the UN decolonisation list, would be akin to accepting France within an organisation of independent Pacific countries.

New Caledonia was at the Palau summit while French Polynesia sent no politician as its president, Gaston Flosse, had been told by France's highest court last month to quit the presidency as part of his sentence for corruption.

The French government however has stopped the sentence from being served and Flosse has remained in office while Francois Hollande is to consider a pardon.