19 Mar 2005

American Samoa say new permit and passport to Samoa will pose problems

8:44 am on 19 March 2005

American Samoans say they'll be greatly affected if they are required to get a permit and passport to travel to neighbouring Samoa.

Currently people can travel freely between the two Samoas but Samoa says American Samoans will need a permit and passport to visit there from May.

But the change passed by Samoa's cabinet, appears to be in retaliation to a crackdown on immigration law by American Samoa's new attorney general, Sialega Malaetasi Togafau.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller says there has already been a concerned response from the public.

"The governments need to sort out this permit situation and try to resolve their differences, instead of hurting the traveller because it's the ordinary man or woman who will have to go through all these extra procedures... and when there are funerals or weddings and other traditional activities families here and in Samoa have to attend, it's going to be a major problem."