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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---A preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed earlier this week by Governor Tauese Sunia and Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi after a summit meeting Monday between the two leaders, according to the Governor's Office.

The MOU is expected to "enhance cooperation between the two Samoas on a variety of issues" and to "mutually benefit from sharing resources," thereby creating, among other things, large cost savings for both countries, according to a public statement issued yesterday.

Cabinet officials of both countries will work out the specific terms of the MOU. Each official will be paired off with his or her counterpart from the other side to work out the details applicable to their departments.

The Governor and the Prime Minister will meet again in three months to review the work of their cabinet officials. This meeting will be in American Samoa, according to the Governor's Office. If all terms are agreeable to both leaders, then they will sign a formal MOU at that time.

The agenda for last Monday's meeting in Apia was previously worked out last week in a cabinet officials meeting on Tutuila between the two countries. These officials were instructed to "activate a dialogue" that will culminate in a "workable" MOU.

Although the main theme of last Monday's summit conference was mutual cooperation, the two island leaders focused on a wide range of issues including cooperation on telecommunications services, agriculture and fisheries, police and Customs surveillance, sports, immigration, trade and investment, power and water, and tertiary education.

Both leaders were accompanied to the meeting by several of their respective cabinet members and top officials.

According to the public statement from the Governor's Office, the preliminary MOU was drafted by Director of Commerce Ali‘imau Scanlan and Samoa's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Aiono Mose Sua with a review and assistance of Port Director Abe Malae and LBJ Chief Executive Officer Taufete‘e John Faumuina.

The Governor and his cabinet officials returned last Tuesday afternoon.

Other cabinet officials participating in the summit conference included Commissioner of Public Safety Te‘o J. Fuavai, Treasurer Tifimalae Ale, Agriculture Director Galumalemana Frank Pritchard, Education Director Dr. Sili Sataua, Marine and Wildlife Director Ufagafa Ray Tulafono and the Governor's Legislative Liaison Taesalialii F. Lutu.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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