Chirac explains to Greenpeace

Paris - President Jacques Chirac has written to Greenpeace explaining Paris's decision to resume nuclear tests in the South Pacific in September. Greenpeace said it had replied, asking Mr Chirac to "show more flexibility". In his letter dated 19 July, Mr Chirac reiterated that "a final series of tests ... were necessary to enable our country to dispose, under any circumstances, of a viable and dependable deterrent force to protect its vital interests."

In Suva, Fiji's Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, fired three of his ministers after they refused to back him in a debate over French nuclear testing. Parliament passed an opposition motion condemning France's plans. It rejected a Rabuka amendment which sought to broaden the motion into a condemnation of all nuclear testing and made no reference to France. Reuter