7 Jan 2019

French minister moots association status for New Caledonia

1:11 pm on 7 January 2019

The French overseas minister Annick Girardin says the government may offer New Caledonia a vision which would see it become associated with France.

Annick Girardin

Annick Girardin Photo: AFP

In a wide-ranging interview on public television, Ms Girardin made a reference to New Caledonia's situation following last year's independence referendum.

A majority voted to stay with France but she said under the Noumea Accord two more such votes were possible.

She said she and the prime minister hoped for the dialogue to continue at the time of the provincial elections due in May.

Ms Girardin said after the election a meeting could be convened to work on the future which could involve a vision of an association.

While anti-independence leaders want to keep ties to France unchanged, some pro-independence politicians have evoked the option of New Caledonia becoming independent in association with France.

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