25 Years Of Relations Between U.S., Samoa Celebrated

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Outgoing Ambassador Huebner hosts event honoring friendship

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 23, 2013) – Samoa and the United States of America celebrated 25 years of friendship at the Mission’s official residence last Thursday night.

The event highlighted the strong diplomatic relations between the United States and Samoa, which dates back to 1856 and was formalised by the accreditation of Ambassadors in 1971.

In what is his last official visit here, US Ambassador David Huebner said the celebrations were by no means only about just 25 years of relations between these two great countries.

"Contact between our two societies began more than two centuries ago," he said.

"With respect to Government activity the US Government appointed its first commercial agent in Samoa in 1853."

"We established consular relations here in 1856, among other milestones."

"Samoa was among the first nations to be selected for a Peace Corps operation, which has remained here since 1967."

"So it is a very happy occasion to celebrate the warm relations between these two societies."

"It is also a sad occasion because this is going to be my final visit to Samoa as Ambassador."

He said that President Barak Obama had appointed his successor so he will be leaving in December, but said he would be returning to Samoa under less official terms.

In response, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said "the legacy of friendships and partnerships between our two countries dates back to the 19th century."

"I would like to register our thanks to your present Chargé d’Affaires Peter Ganser and the previous officers in charge of the embassy over the years for their good work in managing the embassy," he said.

"Looking after the United States people and the arrangements with our country on a day to day basis", he noted.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the United States Government through you Ambassador for the assistance that your Government has provided over the years."

"You support Samoa and its people and values in areas including health, food security, climate change adaptation, cultural preservation, people to people exchanges and assisting NGOs."

"Ambassador I am told that this evening’s reception is also your farewell as Ambassador of the United States to Samoa."

"I would like to thank you for the great energy and personal touch you brought during your tenure."

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