22 Oct 2014

Fritch meets French president

2:54 pm on 22 October 2014

French Polynesia's president, Edouard Fritch, has revealed that he met the French president Francois Hollande during his recent Paris visit, which was his first since succeeding Gaston Flosse in the top job.

Last week's meeting had not been disclosed earlier.

Mr Fritch says he has been invited to accompany Mr Hollande during his tour of New Caledonia and Australia next month, which has led to the apparent cancellation of a proposed 2015 visit to French Polynesia just days after it has been reported.

Mr Fritch has told local radio that it makes little sense to just have a brief presidential visit with a meeting of people in Papeete.

If the president came, he says, the trip should include visits to the atolls and the Marquesas.

The last French president to visit French Polynesia was Jacques Chirac in 2003 when he hosted Pacific leaders for a summit aimed at integrating the French territories into the Pacific's regional structures.