FRANCE APPOINTS NEW PACIFIC AMBASSADOR

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 2) – The French government has appointed a new ambassador for the Pacific region, with a focus on the Nouméa-based Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

He is Patrick Roussel, a 55-year-old career diplomat who has formerly held ambassadorial positions in Haiti and Djibouti.

Mr Roussel replaces Bruno Gain, who has held the position for the past three and a half years and has now been appointed France’s permanent representative to the European Council in Strasburg.

The position of French Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community comes under the responsibility of three French government ministries: the Department of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry for Overseas Territories.

The post also comes with the responsibility to manage a US$3.5 million Pacific Fund, which is used to assist regional projects.

Its purpose is to foster regional integration in the Pacific.

January 3, 2006

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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