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Samoa government identifies land in Vailima for AmSam

APIA — The Samoa government has identified land in Apia for American Samoa in a land exchange deal the two governments agreed to, during the inter Samoa talks held in Pago Pago in October.

The Samoa government owned newspaper, Le Savali reported last Thursday that the one-acre land property for American Samoa is located at Vailima.  The newspaper quotes Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as saying that his cabinet has approved the land and the matter has been referred to the Ministry of Lands for the necessary documentation.

The Samoa government will now wait until after American Samoa'a governorship election this week for the new administration to address their side of the deal, the newspaper reports.

“It’s the practice everywhere in the world where governments have embassies and high commissions in other countries to expedite good relations and the needs of its resident citizens there,” said Tuilaepa.

The Prime Minister said once land for Samoa is identified in American Samoa, his government will immediately start building an office and a residence there. “And if there’s enough land available, perhaps a plantation for our general council to spend his afternoons,” he added.

During the inter Samoa talks, Tuilaepa and Gov. Togiola Tulafono agreed to provide one acre of land for the other side to use for setting up appropriate offices to facilitate economic integration. Samoa requested that the land in American Samoa be in Tafuna.

During a news conference, Tuilaepa says having an American Samoa office in Apia, makes it easy to address issues that arise in the event of an emergency situation. He says that having the Samoa Consulate Office in Pago Pago is doing the same for Samoa nationals in the territory.

Samoa News reporter Fili Sagapolutele contributed to this report from Pago Pago, American Samoa