AMERICAN SAMOA’S FALEOMAVAEGA MEETS WITH NEW ZEALAND AMBASSADOR ANDSPEAKER OF NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE April 25, 2001

AMERICAN SAMOA’S FALEOMAVAEGA MEETS WITH NEW ZEALAND AMBASSADOR AND SPEAKER OF NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT

Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega announced today that he met with the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, the Rt. Honorable James Bolger, and the Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament, the Rt. Honorable Jonathan Hunt, who led a Parliamentary delegation for talks in Washington.

The Members of Parliament accompanying Speaker Hunt during the visit with Faleomavaega were Winston Peters, Harry Duynhoven, John Carter and Rodney Hide.

"I was very honored that Ambassador Bolger, Speaker Hunt and his distinguished delegation made time to stop by my office," stated Faleomavaega, "as the United States and New Zealand have long been friends, sharing a common history and culture as fellow democracies in the Pacific.

"Despite suspension of our security relationship under ANZUS due to New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy, I am glad to see that bilateral relations between our nations are excellent.

"For those of us in American Samoa, we have particularly close-knit ties with the good people of New Zealand. Many of our families have relatives there, travel is extensive, and we conduct business annually with New Zealand in the tens of millions of dollars."

Faleomavega noted the meeting covered a wide-ranging agenda, including America's commitment to remain engaged in the Asia-Pacific region; New Zealand's free trade agreement initiatives; U.S. pursuit of national missile defense; developments regarding the Kyoto Protocols on global climate warming; and the human rights situation in West Papua/Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

Further discussed was the need to establish a Parliamentary Exchange Forum between the legislatures of the U.S. and New Zealand, which Speaker Hunt and Congressman Faleomavaega strongly supported.

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