7 Sep 2009

American Samoa's Congressman backs Samoa's invitation to Fiji leader

6:32 am on 7 September 2009

American Samoa's Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has welcomed a decision by Samoa's Prime Minister to invite Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama to visit Samoa

Faleomavaega, who chairs the U.S. House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, says Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi's invitation represents precisely the sort of engagement that should be offered to Fiji.

He says instead of introducing sanctions against Fiji, which could end up hurting average citizens rather than the interim government, there is a need to talk with Fiji.

Faleomavaega visited Fiji three times this year and he was able to hold wide-ranging discussions with Commodore Bainimarama and key leaders of Fiji.

Faleomavaega says that with help and engagement by the U.S and other countries in the Pacific region, there is an excellent chance that Fiji can put its recent troubles behind it and return to democracy and prosperity.