French Polynesia Government Hopes To Sign Papeete Accord Before French President Term Ends

Comprehensive deal with France to form basis of relationship until 2030

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 23, 2017) – The French Polynesian government says it hopes to sign a comprehensive deal with France, to be known as the Papeete Accord, before President Francois Hollande leaves office.

The territory's president Edouard Fritch has told the visiting French overseas minister Ericka Bareigts that teams from both sides have been working for eight months towards finalising the document.

He says this should form the basis for the relationship between French Polynesia and France until 2030.

The Papeete Accord would provide guaranteed French financial support and recognise the legacy of the French nuclear weapons tests carried out in the South Pacific between 1966 and 1996.

It would also provide for a memorial of the nuclear legacy and a clean-up of Hao atoll, which was a significant military base that is now set to become an aquaculture centre for Chinese investors.

Mr Fritch says the timeline is tight but the Accord should be approved by local organisations, including the territorial assembly, before he and Mr Hollande sign it in April.

Last year, he said the Papeete Accord would redefine the relationship which he said he would like to tie into the framework of the United Nations.

This is to counter the 2013 reinscripton of French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list, which France has refused to recognise.

Radio New Zealand International
Copyright © 2017 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

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