American Samoa has received approval from the US State Department to seek observer status in the Pacific Islands Forum.
Governor Togiola Tulafono says the US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton informed him this week that the territory is cleared to apply for observer status in the Forum.
The governor raised the issue of Forum membership for American Samoa when Secretary Clinton stopped over in the territory November.
Governor Togiola says a joint application for American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas to be observer members will be presented at the next Forum leaders meeting in New Zealand next month.
The governor will be a member of the US delegation to the meeting.