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France re-sets its relationship with Vanuatu

France is working to establish stronger diplomatic bonds with Vanuatu as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy.

France's new Ambassador to Vanuatu, Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, said Vanuatu is at the heart of this strategy because of its history.

It is the only Pacific state with French as an official language and there is a French community of more than 2000 people.

Vilmer said the proximity of New Caledonia, 500km or an hour's flight away, makes Vanuatu France's closest neighbour.

The new Ambassador said for several reasons they have the opportunity to re-launch the bilateral relationship.

These include the reopening of the borders after a difficult health crisis, the election of a new government in Vanuatu, and his arrival as the new French ambassador.

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