26 Mar 2007

American Samoa's Governor to visit Swains then Tokelau

6:14 am on 26 March 2007

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono is to vist Swains Island and then Tokelau during a week long tour.

The governor will dedicate a school building that was recently built for Swains.

He will also be shown potential sites for a landing strip on the island so that air travel to Swains can be initiated.

The governor says his visit to Tokelau is a general trip which he has discussed with leaders before.

However, he may look at the possibility of extending air travel to Tokelau if air service is initiated for Swains, and sea transportation and discussions on trade may also come up.

Recently a leader of Tokelau said if it wins a referendum for more autonomy, one of the first steps it will take is to negotiate with the US government for the return of Swains Island to Tokelau.

Governor Togiola says American Samoa is not going to take a position on the issue until it consults with the State Department if and when it comes up.