FIJI PM RABUKA ASSURES SUPPORT FOR NEW CALEDONIA'S FLNKS

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SUVA, Fiji (June 20, 1998 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has assured the President of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS), Rock Wamytan, of Fiji's support at the forthcoming South Pacific Forum (SPF) and Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meetings, the Daily Post reports.

The two leaders met in Nadi this week where Wamytan is attending the United Nations Seminar on Decolonization.

Wamytan told Rabuka that for the first time ever France had recognized "the colonial fact."

An important question, he said, was who could vote in the next New Caledonian elections and whether voting should be limited to the Kanak people.

He also added that an important element of the Matignon/Nouméa accords was a transition period of 15 years, at the end of which New Caledonia will be a freely associated state with France.

He also revealed that parts of the French constitution relating to New Caledonia will be voted on July 6 with all activities financed by the French Government.

Wamytan said, however, that with all the help that France had rendered, the Kanak people still looked to the MSG for support and continued vigilance.

He proposed that a clear status be given to New Caledonia in the MSG Pacific Forum.

Rabuka said he noted with interest reasons for the FLNKS support for self-determination, saying that although Fiji was now independent, "we were still concerned about the security of the indigenous people of Fiji."

Rabuka said that indigenous security would not be assured unless various precautionary measures are taken.

Rabuka commended the Matignon/Nouméa accords as well-planned, and said the FLNKS could count on Fiji's support at future MSG and SPF meetings.

Title -- 1487 NEW CALEDONIA: Rabuka assures FLNKS of support Date -- 20 June 1998 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 20/6/98 Copyright -- Daily Post Status – Unabridged

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