Government approves visa free entry to Israel

Israel’s Ambassador to Samoa, Dr. Itzhak Gerberg accepting his ava cup when he presented his credentials to Samoa’s Head of State in 2016

Source: PRESS SECRETARIAT

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 04 JULY 2018: The Samoan Government has given its endorsement for Samoa to be granted free visitor visa access to the Holy Land.

The Prime Minister has given the green light for local officials to “execute the necessary documents for visa free entry for Samoans to enter Israel,” according to a release from the Press Secretariat.

“It’s a must considering Samoa is a Christian Country founded on God as prescribed by our constitution.

“As a God fearing nation, it is also most fitting that every opportunity is afforded to our people to visit Israel which is the birth place and the roots of Christianity.

Government is also mindful of the benefit to the local tourism industry.

“New tourists translate to fresh revenues for the sector with our accommodation providers, transport sector, taxi and bus drivers and even farmers reaping the benefits from tourism dollars.

“Then there is also the issue of attracting new investors from the Holy Land with Israeli tourists spreading the word of Samoa’s natural beauty not to mention our political stability as a haven for investment.”

Tuilaepa has already assured the Israeli Ambassador to Samoa based in Wellington, New Zealand, Dr. Itzhak Gerberg that the visa issue is a done deal subject to official endorsement.

“Samoans visiting Israel has increased slowly but surely in recent months,” said Dr. Gerberg who was in Samoa last week to finalise details of a training next October and to negotiate future activities that include a State Visit by Prime Minister Tuilaepa to Israel and the celebration of Israel’s National (Independence Day) in Samoa next year.

“I can understand that security is an issue which is discouraging Samoans to come to Israel but rest assured measures are in place to ensure the safety and the well being of all visitors including Samoans,” he added.

Currently, Samoans traveling to Israel need a visitor’s visa from the Israeli Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.