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PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (July 26, 2001 – Tahitipresse)---The French Secretary of State for Overseas Administrations, Christian Paul, visited the Marquesas Islands Wednesday, July 25th and Thursday, July 26th.

The Marquesas are located 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) to the northeast of Tahiti.

During Paul’s first stop Wednesday -- on the main Marquesan island of Nuku Hiva -- the mayor of the island, Lucien Kimitete, said that the people of the Marquesas wishes to remain French.

He added that the archipelago is always "forgotten " when money matters are discussed in Pape‘ete, Tahiti.

The call to remain within the French Republic comes at the same time the government of French Polynesia is asking for a new statute (POM for Pays d'Outre-mer, overseas country) for all the archipelagoes of French Polynesia.

The secretary said that France will continue to back up the Marquesas islands.

On Thursday, he went to Hiva Oa, in the south of the Marquesas.

Each year, Hiva Oa welcomes many tourists because of the two famous artists who lived there in the past: Belgian singer Jacques Brel in the 1970s and painter Paul Gauguin, who died on the island in 1903. They were both buried in Hiva Oa.

"Sixty to 70 % of all the visitors coming to our island are here because they want to see the places where Gauguin and Brel lived," said the mayor of Hiva Oa, Guy Rauzy.

The Marquesas archipelago needs financial aid from France and the government of French Polynesia to build roads and airports.

About 8,000 live on six islands of the archipelago.

The secretary is scheduled to visit the islands of Moorea and Tahiti before flying back to France.



PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (July 29, 2001 – Tahitipresse/PINA Nius Online)--- France's Secretary of State for Overseas Administrations, Christian Paul, has visited a major pineapple juice factory in Moorea and a fishing development in Tahiti.

It came as he completed a four-day official visit to French Polynesia.

On the island of Moorea, he visited the pineapple juice factory opened in 1981. The factory uses Moorea pineapples and produces 2.2 million liters of juice each year.

The secretary later visited the Port of Pape‘ete, where the fishing industry is undergoing expansion.

Last year, according to the IEOM (Institute for Overseas Territories), French Polynesia exported 1,716 tons of fish worth 788 million French Pacific francs (about US$ 5.8 million).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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