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French overseas minister says she is open to South Pacific resettlement requests attributable to rising seas

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CANBERRA, Australia — French International Minister Catherine Colonna mentioned on Monday she was open to any resettlement request from tiny South Pacific nations threatened by rising sea ranges, much like Australia’s settlement with Tuvalu.

Colonna mentioned France had watched with “nice curiosity” final month when Australia supplied Tuvalu a lifeline to assist residents escape the rising seas and elevated storms introduced by local weather change.

At a gathering of Pacific leaders within the {Cook} Islands, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese introduced a plan that can initially enable as much as 280 Tuvaluans to return to Australia annually. Tuvalu has a inhabitants of 11,000, and its low-lying atolls make it notably susceptible to international warming.

Colonna mentioned she was undecided if the French Pacific territories of French Polynesia and New Caledonia had the capability to make comparable presents.

“I’m open to contemplate any particular request,” Colonna instructed the Nationwide Press Membership.

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“However … the dimensions of the Australian continent makes a giant distinction with the dimensions and beauties of French Polynesia and New Caledonia,” she added.

Colonna mentioned the Australian deal initiated by Tuvalu was one approach to deal with a few of the challenges posed by local weather change.

“I’d reasonably see local weather change being managed and mastered,” Colonna mentioned.

“Preemptive motion perhaps is best than taking some corrective measures when it’s late,” she added.

She mentioned she didn’t know the small print of the Australia-Tuvalu treaty however was assured it revered primary rules of worldwide legislation.

The treaty commits Australia to help Tuvalu in response to main pure disasters, well being pandemics and army aggression, Albanese mentioned in an announcement.

It additionally offers Australia veto energy over any safety or defense-related settlement Tuvalu desires to make with another nation akin to China.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano mentioned the brand new association with Australia revered each nations’ sovereignty and dedicated every nation to supporting the opposite via such challenges as local weather change.

Colonna spoke to the media forward of a gathering at Parliament Home with Australian International Minister Penny Wong aimed toward rising the 2 nations’ cooperation within the area.

Protection Minister Richard Marles flies to New Caledonia this week to fulfill French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu and their South Pacific counterparts.

France and Australia’s relations have improved with the election of Albanese’s authorities final yr after a earlier administration angered Paris in 2021 by canceling a 90 billion Australian greenback ($66 billion) contract for a fleet of French-built submarines.

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