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By Jacques Boengkih

NOUMÉA, Papua New Guinea (August 24, 1998 - Radio Djiido/Pasific Nius/Niuswire)---Roch Wamytan, President of the pro-independence New Caledonia FLNKS, said in a telephone interview with Radio Djiido, "the Pacific countries leaders welcomed the demand from both New Caledonia political parties to have the French colony inscribed as an observer at the South Pacific Forum."

Roch Wamytan said that he, as head of FLNKS, and Robert Paouta representing the pro-France RPCR, met with the countries' leaders during a dinner offered by the Secretary General of the Forum.

At the dinner each of the Kanak representatives spoke for 10 minutes. Both introduced the formal demand that New Caledonia be given observer status at South Pacific Forum meetings.

"A first demand has already been introduced by the Melanesian Spearhead Group," said Roch Wamytan.

"We are very optimistic, and the answer that will come tomorrow should be positive," he said.

Roch Wamytan also said that the two delegations from New Caledonia wanted to thank New Zealand for offering them seats on the official New Zealand government aircraft.

A representative of the French authorities in New Caledonia is accompanying the Kanak representatives.

Roch Wamytan said he formally made complaints to the French High Commissioner in New Caledonia for the lack of support from France for the participation of New Caledonia in such an important regional meeting.

Pasifik Nius Title -- 1663 KANAKY/NC : Pro-independence and pro-French delegations at Forum Date: 24 August 1998 Source -- Radio Djiido/AKD,, 24/8/98 Origin -- Copyright -- Radio Djiido/AKD Status - Unabridged

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NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (August 24, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The French Overseas Territories Minister, Jean-Jack Queyranne, has arrived in New Caledonia for further discussions on drawing up a draft law for the devolution of French rule in the Pacific territory.

On his arrival in Nouméa he said that everyone wanted the text to be as precise as possible and there was still some detailed work to be done.

Mr. Queyranne, who will chair a meeting of the signatories of the Nouméa Accord on Friday, added that the text will be drawn up in September and New Caledonians will hold a referendum on the peace agreement on November 8.

The referendum will decide whether the territory of 200,000 people agrees with the May Nouméa Accord, setting the Melanesian archipelago on the path to possible independence in the next century.

The accord was struck between leaders of the separatist Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), the loyalist Rally for Caledonia in the Republic and the French government.

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