Australia seeks to strengthen ties with Samoa


Australia seeks to strengthen ties with Samoa with priorities on health and development.

“The new Government has been formed and we want to put more energy and more resources into the Pacific,” said Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong during a press conference with the media today.

Wong was accompanied by Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa during the media conference.

“We made a commitment to engage more closely and to listen respectfully, we understand we need to work together as part of the Pacific family, in ways we are called on to do so now more than ever.”

Wong said the Australian Government wants to make a uniquely Australian contribution to the Pacific family.

“And most importantly I want to be very clear that we are deeply committed to taking stronger action on Parliament and we were elected with a mandate to do so and we understand how important climate change is [to] the Pacific nations. [and] its leaders.”

Wong was the Minister of Climate Change in the past “and it has become crystal clear then, your voices have become stronger since that time. I want to be clear with you there is a lot of bipartisanship in the relationship and Australia values the relationship,” said the Senator.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said Climate Change is very high on the priorities of both Samoa and Australia.

“We are very pleased in Samoa and no doubt the Pacific region that with the new Australia Govebrment the policy shift brings them closer to alignment with the Pacific advocacy for climate change.”

Fiame said they strongly feel this will strengthen the Pacific’s positions on climate change and of course we’ve worked closely with the Australian, especially in responses to climate impact.

“And I do want to recognize your former administrations; we agree to differ but then as we do as partners and development we keep moving forward in ways that we are able to move forward but we feel that Senator with your policy stance we are greatly encouraged.”

The Prime Minister also commended Australia’s assistance pertaining to Covid-19 response together with other partners.

Adding that under the project of the Tautua for all, they covered a range of issues including the Recognized Seasonal Employment workers; the security issues that seem to be high on the media attention and most importantly  they have discussed the unity of the region and how important that is to carry forward the  positions of the region. 

“But also ensure that with unity we can bring a higher level of development to our respective countries,” said Fiame.