31 Mar 2005

Apia and Pago Pago to meet to resolve immigration differences

4:19 am on 31 March 2005

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele is to meet an American Samoa delegation in Apia later this week to try to resolve differences over immigration.

This follows a recent request from American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono,for a meeting with Tuilaepa.

The American Samoan delegation, includes Lt Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia and the secretary of Samoan Afairs, Mauga Tasi Asuega.

Samoa wants to formalise travel arrangements between the two Samoas, with the Prime Minister describing the current arrangements as "unsatisfactory".

He says informal arrangements at the moment are ambiguous, and in turn, disadvantage travellers from Samoa.

Tuilaepa says the original understanding of the 14-day permit, to be issued at an America Samoa office in Apia, wasn't followed through, and the territory never established the office.

Meanwhile, Samoa's cabinet has approved a proposal for Entry Permits for US nationals entering Samoa from American Samoa.

The proposal demands that from may this year, all US nationals from American Samoa will need to have passports which are valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Samoa.