Vanuatu reaffirms relations with New Caledonia

No matter the outcome of November's referendum on independence from France, ties with New Caledonia will remain friendly, Vanuatu's prime minister says.

Charlot Salwai made the comment in Noumea on Vanuatu's stance towards the vote.

He said Vanuatu supported the Noumea Accord, but said it would be up to New Caledonia's voters to decide.

Mr Salwai said the Pacific neighbours shared the same values and that Vanuatu backed New Caledonia's further integration into the region.

While there had been ups and downs in Vanuatu's links with France, the relationship was improving, he said.

After independence in 1980, Vanuatu supported New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement.