France Surprise Trip: Mitterrand flies into trouble

Mitterrand flies into trouble

It was meant as a soothing dose of diplomacy for a strife-torn territory--and an antidote to criticism at home. French President Francois Mitterrand last week made a sudden visit to the French Pacific-island territory of New Caledonia, where at least 18 people have been killed since November in an increasingly bitter struggle over independence. After announcing the trip in a nationally televised interview, Mitterrand said he was going to the troubled territory to "express what I believe to be reason" and to show support for French Special Envoy Edgard Pisani, author of a controversial independence plan for the islands.

Soon after...

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