Talks fruitful, says Valls

NOUMEA – The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls says he will visit New Caledonia next year as the territory is in its last phase of the decolonisation process outlined by the 1998 Noumea Accord.

PM Valls made the announcement in Paris where he hosted New Caledonian leaders for the annual review of the accord which provides for a referendum by 2018 on possible independence from France.

Although Mr Valls said the talks were fruitful, they were marked by the sudden departure of a leading anti-independence delegate, Pierre Frogier, who is unhappy with the ruling Socialists’ stance on the process.