WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI/PIR)—The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has invited the leaders of Pacific Island countries to a summit in Paris at the end of this year to coincide with the COP 21 climate conference.
The summit is aimed to strengthen ties and help the French territories integrate into the region, notably to become full members of the Pacific Islands Forum.
France has so far hosted three summits with Pacific leaders: two chaired by President Jacques Chirac in 2003 and 2006 and one, in 2009, by the then-foreign minister Bernard Kouchner.
The Paris summit is also to raise climate change challenges which were highlighted last year when the French president, Francois Hollande, visited New Caledonia.
Valls has also announced that he plans to visit New Caledonia, but has given no date.