New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS group has accepted an invitation to meet the French government in Paris next month, under the condition that decolonisation will be a key issue on the agenda.
The bi-lateral talks aim to thaw dialogue between France and New Caledonia’s indigenous Kanak leaders, who stepped back from negotiations after last year’s independence vote.
That referendum went ahead despite less than half of the territory’s eligible voters heading to the polls as a result of a boycott called by the pro-independence group FLNKS.
They wanted the vote postponed because of the impact of the pandemic on Kanak communities.
Charles Wea, advisor to New Caledonia’s President, said FLNKS will participate in discussions with France under certain conditions.
“Any bilateral discussions with the French government will be particularly on the process of decolonisation,” Mr Wea said.
“It’s only between the French government and FLNKS, and FLNKS will represent the Kanak people.”
Mr Wea said pro-independence leaders are pursuing another independence referendum in 2024.
Source: ABC Pacific