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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Australians Pull Envoy From Paris

SYDNEY -- The anti-nuclear storm against France intensified Friday as Australia recalled its envoy from Paris and South Pacific nations considered putting the case against testing directly to the French people.


The Australian government, under pressure to step up its opposition to France's decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific, also announced it would ban French naval ships and aircraft from Australian ports.


As Prime Minister Paul Keating outlined the new measures against France, Australian waterfront workers delayed the unloading of French ships and protests were held across the region.


In the Cook Islands, which lie near the French coral island where the underground tests are to be held, local women in grass skirts welcomed the arrival of the environment group Greenpeace's protest ship, Rainbow Warrior.


A crowd greeted the crew who draped a banner reading "Nuclear Free Pacific" from the ship, based in Auckland, New Zealand, and vowed to try to stop the eight planned tests going ahead from September.


A protest march followed, supported by Cook Islands Premier Sir Geoffrey Henry.


In New Zealand, which has condemned the French decision to conduct nuclear testing as a sign of arrogant colonialism, protesters presented bags of garbage and dead fish to the French Embassy in Wellington. The material was accepted without comment.


Keating, in outlining Australia's new measures, said the ambassador would be recalled temporarily and that the 15-nation South Pacific Forum may run an anti-nuclear publicity campaign in France itself.