18 Feb 2005

Negotiations soon on maritime boundaries between Tonga and the two Samoas

11:33 am on 18 February 2005

American Samoan Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says the US State Department will soon begin negotiating maritime boundary lines between American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

Faleomavaega says the boundaries are very important to the territory's fishing industry and he is sure the same can be said for the governments of Samoa and Tonga.

He says the sooner the negotiations are underway the better.

State Department officials will be paying courtesy visits to Governor Togiola Tulafono and the legislature early next month before heading to Samoa for negotiations and later Tonga.

American Samoa's maritime boundary lines with Tokelau have already been negotiated with New Zealand.

The boundary lines with the Cook Islands and Niue have also been negotiated.