19 Oct 2006

US State Department advises American Samoa to withdraw its application to Forum

9:54 am on 19 October 2006

The United States' State Department has asked American Samoa to withdraw its observer status application to the Pacific Forum.

The Governor Togiola Tulafono revealed this in response to KHJ News questions about where the territory's application for membership stands.

The governor says that he has been advised by the Secretary General of the Forum that American Samoa's application for associate membership will be submitted to the Forum meeting next week.

He says this may now be delayed because of the request from the United States Department of State.

The governor says he sees no reason to withdraw American Samoa's application and he's writing to the State Department asking that they support the territory's application.

Togiola says he is also informing the Forum that there's no reason to delay action on the territory's application.

The governor says American Samoa is applying to be an associate member, and it will not vote on any actions taken by the Forum, and it will not be directly involved in any policy making decisions of the Forum.

He believes this is the concern of the State Department.