20 Oct 2006

American Samoan seeks answer on Washington rebuff of Forum application

2:27 pm on 20 October 2006

The American Samoan member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he wants to know why the US State Department is opposed to the territory applying for associate membership of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Governor Togiola Tulafono says the State Department asked him to withdraw American Samoa's application.

Faleomavaega says the US never consulted the territory's leaders.

"I'm very disappointed. This is typical of this administration paying no attention whatsoever to the problems or needs of the Pacific Island nations in our region and I will re-state that again."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

The Forum will be held in Fiji next week and the US is to send an assistant secretary of state to the Post-Forum dialogue meeting.