11 Jan 2003

Fiji removed from Amercan Samoa's security list

9:08 am on 11 January 2003

Fiji is to be removed from the list of countries whose citizens and national will not be allowed to enter American Samoa without approval of the Attorney General.

The move has been confirmed by a government official who said Governor Tauese Sunia had instructed Attorney General Fiti Sunia to remove Fiji from the list of countries which was issued in the middle of last month.

Fiji was the only South Pacific country named in the security alert which applied to

the nationals of 23 countries, mostly from the Middle East, but including the Philippines, Indonesia, North Korea and Cuba.

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, had earlier expressed strong objections to the restrictions placed on the entry of Fiji citizens into American Samoa.

He said it was unacceptable that Fiji should be treated in that way only because it has a Muslim community.

Mr Qarase lodged his concerns with the new American ambassador to Fiji who had promised to raise the matter with authorities in Washington.