Macron hails outcome of third referendum of New Caledonia

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French President Emmanuel Macron has hailed the outcome of the third independence referendum of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory east of Australia in the South Pacific.

In a press release, Macron on Sunday said that 96.49 per cent of the Caledonians have voted against independence from France.

“Caledonians have chosen to remain French. They decided it freely. For the entire nation, this choice is a source of pride and recognition. Tonight, France is more beautiful because New Caledonia has decided to stay,” the French President added.

Under the Noumea Accord (named after New Caledonia’s capital) signed in 1998, the French overseas territory was granted the right to three referendums on its future political status, Xinhua news agency reported.

The first referendum was held in 2018, with 56.7 per cent of the voters against independence, and the second in 2020 showed a 53.3 per cent of population against independence.

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