MALIELEGAOI WARNS OF STRONG ACTION IF PAGO'S BILL

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GOES THROUGH

APIA, Samoa (October 14, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, has told a visiting delegation of representatives from American Samoa there is no way Samoa will revert back to being called Western Samoa.

American Samoa Representative Seti Lopa said Malielegaoi promised tough action and warned of retaliation, if a bill banning carriers of "Samoan passports" is passed by the American Samoan government.

Lopa, the initiator of the bill, said while there was some reluctance to pass the tough legislation, American Samoan leaders should have been consulted before a decision to change Western Samoa's name to Samoa was made.

"What has happened shows the arrogance of the leaders of Samoa," he said.

Meanwhile, Samoan opposition leader Tuiatua Tamasese, who had earlier warned of the likelihood of a fallout over the new name, is urging consultation between both governments to avoid growing bad feelings. "Names are not important but the bond that ties us together, is" he said.

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