29 Jun 2018

French PM presses for dialogue in New Caledonia ahead of referendum

9:24 am on 29 June 2018

The French prime minister Edouard Philippe has again insisted on the need for a dialogue In New Caledonia as it nears its independence referendum in November.

France's newly appointed Prime Minister Edouard Philippe poses prior to taking part in the evening news broadcast of French TV channel TF1.

Edouard Philippe Photo: AFP

The prime minister was speaking ahead of further talks with New Caledonia's leaders who have been caught up in further infighting over the referendum process.

Mr Philippe again paid homage to the three politicians of the 1980s which forged the Matignon Accords to end years of tension.

The three were the French prime minister Michel Rocard as well as New Caledonia's pro- and anti-independence leaders Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Jacques Lafleur.

Mr Philippe said as the vote nears, and tension and uncertainty are growing, there should be a continued dialogue.

He said at times making a compromise is being described with a negative light.

But Mr Philippe said everyone knows to only have part of the truth and that nothing can be built without the others.

Therefore, he said, it's in everyone's interest to make compromises which is not about giving in but forging something in common.

Mr Philippe said the referendum question on full sovereignty needs to asked and decided but that behind it everyone is aware of the common values and the wish to build peace.

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