6 Jun 2005

Samoa opposition criticises government's handling of inter-Samoa talks on immigration

1:24 pm on 6 June 2005

The leader of Samoa's opposition, Le Mamea Ropati, says the inter-Samoa talks on immigration have been poorly handled by the government.

Last week's inter-Samoa talks concluded with American Samoa's governor saying there is no rift despite recent difficulties in establishing mutually acceptable travel conditions.

Recent tightening of immigration procedures between the two Samoas has seen Samoa establish a permit requirement for American Samoans.

Le Mamea says he cannot see any good reason why Samoa is making it difficult for its cousins in American Samoa to come in.

"There's no point in trying to make things difficult for them. We need all the American dollars to develop our country. There's a lot of people travelling from American Samoa to Samoa to visit their families and spend holidays here, and now our government is trying to make things difficult for these people to come over to our side."

Le Mamea Ropati