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Samoan PM Hails Improving Relations With American Neighbour
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-08/an-samoan-relations-improving-with-a-samoa/4300710?section=australianetworknews
Source Date: Monday, October 08, 2012
Country: Samoa
Created: Oct 07, 2012

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, says relations with American Samoa remain strong despite a six year break in formal leadership talks.

Regular meetings between independent Samoa and the US territory fell into disuse after 2006.

Mr Sailele has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the two island states still maintained regular contact during the hiatus.

"Exchanges have been continuing between officials and myself and also the governor, especially in urgent matters where we or American Samoa need urgent attention," he said, citing assistance in shipping services to outer islands.

"This is the kind of cooperation that is continuing."

Mr Sailele said there had not been many problems in the relationship but admitted immigration had become a thorny issue.

He said in the past, citizens were able to travel freely across the border using temporary visas.

"Because quite a few of our people went over and overstayed in Americans Samoa ... that caused us difficulties but that has since been stopped."

Mr Sailele said he did not expect relations to be affected if American Samoa were to move closer towards self-determination.

"It is very likely they would stay with the normal relationship with America."

"What ever they agree upon with America, I think that will also be benefitting our part."
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