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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 2001 – Samoa News)---Telecommunication, broadcasting, police, customs, agriculture, health and immigration were among the issues discussed during a meeting between the leaders of the two Samoas.

Held yesterday at the Convention Center, the meeting was the fourth since the first inter-Samoa government meeting was held in Samoa in 1999 as a way of improving relationships between the two countries regarding a wide range of issues.

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi called the meeting "fruitful" when it came to a close yesterday afternoon. Tuilaepa led the Samoa delegation that included one cabinet member and several representatives of various government agencies.

Tuilaepa said the many issues discussed during the five-hour meeting are not easy issues to discuss because they involve money and a review of the laws of both island entities.

Governor Tauese Sunia headed up the local delegation, which included a number of cabinet members and representatives.

At the close of the meeting, both sides agreed that the Fifth Inter-Samoa Government meeting will be set for the first Friday of September 2002, and the meeting will be hosted by Samoa.

Throughout the meeting, each department or agency of both Samoas provided an update of accomplishments and recommendations since the last meeting in Savai’i.

A major accomplishment since the last meeting is the establishment of the Samoa-American Samoa Link, which was dedicated on February 23rd of this year and is now being utilized by agencies of both governments.

The 15-channeled Link was established as part of a memorandum of understanding between the American Samoa Telecommunication Authority and the Samoa Telecom Authority.

Some channels under the MOU are intended for use by the meteorological agencies and aviation industry in the two Samoas.

Both sides are urged to continue cooperation through the Link in enriching educational opportunities and improving the quality of institutions of learning.

"We have made great achievements in distance learning with the help of the National University of Samoa," declared Tuilaepa and Tauese.

At American Samoa's request, Samoa also endorsed the need for joint and close efforts between the two countries in areas of environment and energy.

American Samoa has asked for collaborative efforts in research, exchange of information and joint environmental projects. The Territory also asked for the need to discuss energy issues, such as renewable energy alternative technologies and sharing information on such technologies.

Tuilaepa agreed and also sought American Samoa's participation in Samoa’s environmental week.

Other areas of discussion:

§ agriculture and fisheries

§ strengthening quarantine cooperation

§ research on crops development

§ export and import of agricultural crops and products

§ strategies to combat agricultural pests and disease control

§ aquaculture

§ fishing boundaries

§ community based fisheries

§ training and exchange program

§ forestry

Police Cooperation/Customs Service: Foster continued training on drugs, money laundering, cooperation in needed illegal imports into each country and information sharing.

Health Services: Continue enhancing medical education and updating skills (i.e., distance learning), preventive health care (e.g. vaccinations, pre-natal care, hepatitis etc.) and awareness program on renal dialysis.

Airport and Seaport Activities: Continued training program with industry, cooperation of both Samoas involved in these areas and improving ocean service now provided by the Samoa Shipping Corporation.

The Samoa government said other areas of cooperation include direct voice circuits between Pago Pago and Faleolo airport towers and an Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network circuit.

Samoa seeks to have direct voice circuits to avoid delays when the commercial lines are busy. It also seeks to improve voice communication quality between the two control towers.

Electric and Water: Samoa seeks to share engineering expertise, training resources and possibility of standardizing equipment and materials used, similar to what ASPA wants.

At this point in the discussion, Tuilaepa asked for ASPA’s assistance to provide quick relief to constant power outages now faced in Samoa. Governor Tauese called on ASPA to provide the needed technical support.

Following the meeting, a draft committee put together a formal communiqué outlining the meeting’s results.

In the evening, Governor Tauese hosted the Samoa delegation at a reception and dinner at the Rainmaker Hotel.

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

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

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