MESSAGE:  Gaston Flosse, President of French Polynesia

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Gaston Flosse President of French Polynesia to American Citizens Staying In French Polynesia

September 11, 2001

In light of the tragedy which strikes the United States of America, I would like to send on behalf of my Government, the population of French Polynesia, and myself, a message of support and sympathy to the American citizens who are on holidays or live in French Polynesia.

Your country has experienced a great tragedy. The images broadcast on national television which depicted extreme violence, has upset our peaceful islands. We condemn with horror these terrorist acts of cowardice.

I have personally written to the President Georges W. Bush, this morning, to express to the American people and to the families of the victims, the feelings of emotion and profound condolence of our Territory. The whole of French Polynesia will unite in prayer for the mourning of America.

For now, because of the security devices implemented in the North American air space, flights can no longer land in the United States. Those that stay among us and that should return to their homes, in the days to come, will have to be patient. Doubtless they have relatives, close relations or friends, from whom they are without news. I know that they will find in our hotel establishments and with the Polynesian population the attention and the comfort they expect.

Our thoughts are also with the Polynesians citizens who are living in the United States and in particular for our numerous young students, who pursue their studies in the American universities. They share with the population of the United States these oppressive hours. They are isolated from their families. My Government shares their fear and emotions.

The United States citizens are our neighbors and our friends. Many links bring our nations together, notwithstanding the difficult times of history. By striking despicably at the heart of America, the terrorists also struck the principles of freedom and democracy. We trust in the strength that will have America pass this test.

To all, I extend our warm compassion.

Gaston Flosse

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