18 May 2005

Samoa PM says leaders can make own decisions on diplomatic relations

10:09 am on 18 May 2005

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says Pacific leaders have the right to choose who they develop diplomatic relations with.

The PM was responding to questions about whether the choice by Pacific leaders to have diplomatic ties with either Taiwan or China could impact on stable relationships between Pacific leaders.

Tuilaepa has returned to Samoa after a visit to China, with which they've had diplomatic relations for 30 years.

The PM says the right of choice is what democracy is all about.

"The freedom to disagree - and we have been taught very well by our former colonial masters. So it is not a problem."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi