France orders New Caledonia Congress meeting

France has demanded that a special meeting of New Caledonia's Congress be convened to discuss the controversy over nickel exports.

The overseas ministry says Paris is invoking its rights under the organic law after the Congress leadership rejected a bid by the territorial government to debate the issue.

A court in Noumea has upheld a Congress complaint that the government's call for a meeting was formally flawed.

However, the French government says this is not the time for a useless extension of a legal debate.

It says it is now time for a quick resumption of a substantial dialogue with all the political forces in New Caledonia.

The controversy over proposed nickel exports to China prompted a three-week industrial conflict in August.