Tahiti expects Macron visit in 2021

4:56 am on 12 October 2020

The French president Emmanuel Macron is expected to make a twice delayed official visit to French Polynesia in the first quarter of 2021.

This was confirmed after talks with the French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch in Paris.

A statement says Mr Macron hopes to also hold a France-Oceania summit with Pacific Island leaders which was called off in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

French President Emmanuel Macron and French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch

French President Emmanuel Macron and French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch Photo: supplied

The summit was to coincide with the next One Planet Summit, which Mr Macron said would anchor France in the climate change challenges of the Pacific region.

However, such a summit might be in jeopardy because of the Covid-19 pandemic in French Polynesia where there are still hundreds of active cases.

Flights to Tahiti are limited to links with the US and France although arriving passengers are not subject to compulsory quarantine.

Once Mr Macron arrives, he will be only the third French president to have visited French Polynesia in the past quarter of a century.

His stay will coincide with discussions on how to mark the legacy of French nuclear weapons tests.

France hosted its first ever France-Oceania summit in Tahiti in 2003, just seven years after ending its nuclear tests, which were strongly opposed by the Pacific Islands Forum.

At the summit, President Chirac asked for French Polynesia and New Caledonia to be integrated into the regional organisation.

In 2017, the Forum admitted the two as full members.

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