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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 26, 2001 – Samoa News)---Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega said his differences with StarKist Samoa over the Andean Trade Preference Agreement had nothing to do with the termination of his Washington D.C. aide Imoasina Solomona.

The Congressman was responding to a Samoa News story last week on the staff changes at his Washington D.C. office.

[See: Changes In Congressman From American Samoa Faleomavaega's Office In Washington]

Samoa News reported that speculation had it that Sina was terminated as the war of words escalated between Faleomavaega and StarKist Samoa, which employs Sina's brother, Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona.

"For the record, the issue with StarKist Samoa has no relationship whatsoever with Sina's employment in my Washington, D.C. office," the Congressman said. "I don't know who is spreading this rumor, but Sina's departure has nothing to do with StarKist.

"For the record also, I have the highest respect for Dr. Meki Solomona," he added. "There has never been a time when there was any direct communication between Dr. Solomona and myself.

"We obviously disagree over the position that StarKist has taken over the Andean Trade Preference Agreement, but I have never taken that disagreement personally," Faleomavaega explained in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.

"StarKist has its own corporate agenda, and it has a perfect right to do what it wants to do," said Faleomavaega.

"Sure, Dr. Solomona is part of the management, but to suggest that Sina's employment status was connected to the controversy is absolutely absurd.

"It's time to dispel this rumor because it is not true," he continued.

In the meantime, the ATPA is expected to go before Congress for review in late January or early February of the New Year.

[See: U.S. Senate Finance Committee Agrees To Tuna Compromise On Andean Trade Agreement: Faleomavaega]

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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