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Foreign relations of Samoa

The Samoan Government is generally conservative and pro-Western, with a strong interest in regional political and economic issues. At independence in 1962, Samoa signed a Treaty of Friendship[?] with New Zealand. This treaty confirms the special relationship between the two countries and provides a framework for their interaction. Under the terms of the treaty, Samoa can request that New Zealand act as a channel of communication to governments and international organizations outside the immediate area of the Pacific islands[?]. Samoa also can request defense assistance, which New Zealand is required to consider (Samoa does not maintain a formal military). Overall Samoa has strong links with New Zealand, where many Samoans now live and many others were educated.

The Samoan Government was an outspoken critic of the French decision to resume nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean in 1995. An indefinite ban was placed on visits to Samoa by French warships and aircraft. Large-scale street demonstrations were held in Apia. The French tests concluded in early 1996.

Samoa participated in a first round of negotiations with its Pacific Island neighbors for a regional trade agreement in August 2000.



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