Officials from Vanuatu and France are meeting on neutral ground in Sydney this week for negotiations on their dispute over the ownership of the Matthew and Hunter islands.

The two small and uninhabited volcanic islands are located 300 kilometres east of New Caledonia and south east of Aneityum at the southern end of the Vanuatu archipelago.


They are claimed by Vanuatu as part of its southern most Tafea Province but France also claimed them to be part of New Caledonia.

The University of Sydney is hosting negotiations between the French and Vanuatu delegations on delimitation of their shared border and the issue of sovereignty over the islands.

The Daily Post newspaper reported that Vanuatu’s national committee was optimistic there will be positive outcomes from the meetings. RNZ Pacific News [/restrict]