I will address Matthew and Hunter issue: Ambassador Licht

Vanuatu’s new Ambassador to France, John Licht

Vanuatu’s newly appointed Ambassador to France, John Licht, has confirmed that among issues that he will address in his capacity is the issue of Matthew and Hunter.

Mr. Licht made the assurance on Thursday on the occasion of his commissioning as the Ambassador of Vanuatu to France.

The ownership of Matthew and Hunter is a longstanding issue between France and Vanuatu. Both islands are currently under a territorial dispute between Vanuatu and France.

Earlier this year, an incident occurred which triggered tension amongst the Government and the people of Vanuatu.

The Armed Forces Surveillance Frigate Vendémiaire carried out the mission on the islands of Matthew and Hunter.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ralph Regenvanu confirmed the officers went ashore and polished a plaque which they had put there and painted the French flag on a rock.

In March, Vanuatu’s Opposition called on the Government to remove the French Diplomat from his office in Vanuatu until France apologised for what had happened.

A peaceful march for cultural solidarity towards Matthew and Hunter islands, coordinated by the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs was organised in April.

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