1 Jul 2004

Samoan PM says new talks under way with NZ to restore visa-free access

3:52 pm on 1 July 2004

Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says preliminary talks with New Zealand started two weeks ago on restoring visa-free access to New Zealand.

Tuilaepa says the government's work is made much harder by past violations by some of conditions of entry into New Zealand.

He is scheduled to meet the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, next month when Samoa hosts the Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

The Samoan prime minister says two parts of the issue have arisen, a quick solution and a solution for the long term.

Tuilaepa has also dismissed a suggestion that the opposition can do better.

The lobby group Mau Sitiseni Niu Sila Mo Samoa says it hopes political rivalry won't harm their cause.