26 Mar 2007

American Samoa governor ready to resist Tokelau's claim to Swains Island

7:25 pm on 26 March 2007

The governor of American Samoa says he would do all he could to ensure that Swains Island remains part of the territory.

A Tokelauan leader, Kolouei O'Brien, said early this month that if Tokelau chooses self government in November one of the first issues they will push is the return of Swains Island.

He said that Tokelauans have always regarded Swains as part of Tokelau.

American Samoa's governor Togiola Tulafono says he has heard the same statements before and his administration is not really going to take a position on this issue until there is consultation with the State Department, if and when Tokelau raises it.

But he says his personal view is the territory should do everything to resist any efforts to prise Swains out of its control.