AMERICAN SAMOA LAWMAKERS EYE STATEHOOD

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 25) – The president of the American Samoan senate has approached the territory’s delegate in the U.S. Congress to get advice on whether the territory can become a U.S. state.

Lolo Moliga says American Samoa is at the crossroads of its political journey, and based on the many changes in the relationship with the United States, people need to know if there is a more viable alternative than the current political status.

He says options to study include Commonwealth status similar to that of the Northern Mariana Islands, or a Compact of Free Association.

Observers say people in American Samoa are keen to maintain their close ties with the U.S.

August 26, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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