Aumua and Governor Talk AS Issues with Secretary of State Tillerson
Washington, D.C. –Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his second stopover in Pago Pago over the past few days to discuss some of the pressing issues facing American Samoa. Also participating in the historic meeting were Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga.
(L to R) Congresswoman Amata, Secretary of State Tillerson, Gov. Lolo and the First Lady, and Lt. Gov. Mauga
“It was very successful meeting,” stated Amata. “The Governor and I discussed issues pertaining to the Pacific, American Samoa, and the United States’ commitment to the region. This is the second high-profile visitor that American Samoa has welcomed in the past few months, which demonstrates just how receptive and involved the new administration is in regards to the territories…a welcome change,” continued the Congresswoman.
Among the topics discussed were, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the need for improvements to LBJ Hospital, the lack of adequate air service in American Samoa, the U.S. commitment to our partners in the region, and the ongoing request for more resources and funding for the geographically and economically isolated island.
“I want to thank Secretary Tillerson and his team for their attention to American Samoa and our people. The Secretary was very gracious, and seemed to really understand what we are trying to do for the people of American Samoa, who love this nation so very much,” stated Amata. “I look forward to continuing to work with leadership in Washington and here at home to achieve these goals as quickly as possible,” continued Amata.
Following the meeting with the Secretary of State, Congresswoman Amata met with the day’s second visitor to the island, Pacific Command - Commander, USN Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. During the meeting, the Congresswoman raised several issues with the Admiral including, the possibility of reinstating the Military Airlift Command (MAC) flights to and from American Samoa.
Congresswoman Amata and Pac Com Commander Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr.
“Admiral Harris is a good man who expressed his respect for the people of American Samoa, and our loyalty and service to the United States. He also understood the need for the MAC flights, and assured me that he would work with me to see if we can get them back to the island,” said Amata. “These flights would be a great service in getting our people in need of emergency medical attention to hospitals that can treat them. I will continue to do all I can to get the flights back and make sure that our people can receive medical care when they need it most,” concluded the Congresswoman.
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