20 Apr 2021

Palika undecided about New Caledonia talks in Paris

5:46 am on 20 April 2021

A main pro-independence party in New Caledonia is yet to say whether it will attend week-long talks in Paris next month called by the French prime minister Jean Castex.

The Palika party says neither the format nor the agenda of the meetings is known, suggesting instead that France could send a high-level delegate to consult New Caledonians.

The New Caledonia pro-independence politician, Jean-Pierre Djaiwe.

The New Caledonia pro-independence politician, Jean-Pierre Djaiwe. Photo: AFP

Palika's spokesperson Jean-Pierre Djaiwe told local television La Premiere that once France has detailed the main talking points, it will become clear if his party needs to join.

Earlier this month, the French overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu said it was time to raise New Caledonia's future as unprecedented questions lie ahead.

The 1998 Noumea Accord will expire with a third referendum on independence expected by October next year.

Mr Djaiwe says while the minister appears to work towards another accord, his party is against one.

He says Palika still wants New Caledonia's independence in a negotiated partnership with France.

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