AMERICAN SAMOA LEGISLATORS TO GO TO APIA ABOUT SAMOA'S NAME CHANGE FROM

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WESTERN SAMOA

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (September 8, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Two members of American Samoa's legislature will travel to the Samoan capital of Apia this week in an effort to change Samoa's name back to Western Samoa.

The two legislators, Avegamalio Avemaua and Seti Lopa, will meet with Samoan head of state Malietoa Tanumafili II, opposition leader Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, and possibly Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana.

House Speaker Mailo Sao Nua says the legislators will convey to the Samoan leaders the people of American Samoa's concern over Western Samoa's use of the name Samoa. He says they also will lobby the leaders to change the country's name back to Western Samoa in order to maintain peace and good relations between the two Samoa's in the future.

Mailo says traditional leaders have made known their objections to Western Samoa's use of the name Samoa and American Samoa will petition the United Nations for help to prohibit Western Samoa from using the name Samoa.

The legislators traveling to Apia are among ten representatives who sponsored a bill which would prevent American Samoa from recognizing Western Samoa's new name.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana has called the bill "rash and irresponsible."

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