A senior pro-independence politician in New Caledonia says France cannot just be an arbiter in the decolonisation process.
In an interview with the territory's only daily newspaper, Roch Wamytan said he represents the colonised people and is engaged in talks with France which is the coloniser.
Mr Wamytan said he reminded the visiting French overseas minister of this during last week's meetings.
Mr Wamytan signed the 1998 Noumea Accord on behalf of the pro-independence FLNKS movement, ushering in the path to next year and planned vote on full sovereignty.
He said although France is the Accord's guarantor, it cannot simply assume to be between the two camps.
Mr Wamytan said the French state was responsible for the colonisation and had a responsibility for the decolonisation.
He also wondered why the anti-independence side appeared to be so fearful of the future given efforts to create a common destiny.