12 Oct 2017

French mission to New Caledonia defended

4:43 pm on 12 October 2017

A New Caledonia politician has defended the planned mission of the French National Assembly ahead of the territory's independence referendum.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

This comes amid acrimony in Paris over the mission's leadership and composition.

But Philippe Gomes, who is a New Caledonian member of the Assembly mission, said it was made up of members from all the parliamentary groups and it was the only one dedicated to a territory of France.

Mr Gomes said the mission was like the one by the Senate.

He said New Caledonia was the only part of France with a right to self-determination and a right to leave the republic.

Mr Gomes said the mission would replace neither the French government as the guarantor of the Noumea Accord nor the New Caledonian people who would alone decide their destiny.

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