More issues agreed on by two Samoas' leaders
In addition to the main issues reported earlier in Samoa News (Oct. 11 edition), tourism, sports, environment, contact points, and mutual legal assistance are other areas of discussions agreed upon by the two Samoas, for continued cooperation, according to the “official meeting record” of the Inter Samoa talks held Monday this week hosted by American Samoa.
For tourism, Gov. Togiola Tulafono and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi “agreed on the importance of working together on tourism for economic development”. Additionally, they agreed “to continue working together on joint tourism opportunities especially joint marketing to cruise lines.”
Since last year, Tourism officials of the two Samoas started efforts to promote the two Samoas at international tourism events such as with cruise lines.
In sports, the leaders agreed to the revival of the Samoa Games, according to the official meeting record, which also states that in the area of environment, both leaders encouraged the environmental sectors to continue collaboration on important cross border initiatives.
(Samoa News archives show that the last Samoa Games, held in Apia in 2003, some 20 athletes from the territory participated. The last Samoa Games before that was in 2001. Among the goals of the games is to prepare athletes of the two Samoas for regional and international competitions.)
On the issue of “mutual legal assistance”, the two Samoas agreed to “pursue an exchange program for attorneys between the two offices of the respective Attorneys General to strengthen collaboration on mutual arrangements and to foster inter-AG office contact.”
To coordinate the implementation of the decisions of the 2012 Inter Samoa Talks, Samoa has appointed the CEO of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and American Samoa appointed Commerce Department director as points of contact.
During the meeting Monday, Tuilaepa acknowledged this meeting as Togiola’s last as his term in office officially ends Jan. 3, 2013. Tuilaepa described Togiola as a leader among those who pushed for the Inter Samoa Talks to solidify the continuation of the two Samoas working together.
He also wished the best to the new administration in overseeing American Samoa come January next year after the November general election. Tuilaepa expressed his hope that the new territorial government would continue to work closely with Samoa including continuing the inter Samoa talks. Tuilaepa encouraged Togiola and the new administration to continue it close relationship with the United States.
On his weekend radio program, Togiola said that although this is his last term in office, he hopes the new administration will take up agreed upon issues from the Inter Samoa Talks as American Samoa moves into the future.