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-Palau is ready to host the leaders of COVID-free nations in the Micronesian Region in a face-to-face meeting starting on 29 September.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr in a press conference last week said that Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, and the Federated States of Micronesia are holding an in-person 2020 Micronesian Presidents’ Summit (MPS, )which he considers the first face to face Pacific diplomacy meeting since the onset of the pandemic.
All five nations are among the few countries in the world that do not have confirmed cases of COVID -19 .
The issues that are expected to be discussed during the meeting are regional priorities including debt-stress, the SecretaryGeneral position of the Pacific Islands Forum, and the possibility of regional travel-bubbles.
The Nauru government has agreed to utilise its own airline, Air Nauru, to pick up leaders of the nations including members of their delegation.
Palau said the meeting will have a limited number of people and although no quarantine will be required,, the leaders and the delegation will have to have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the plane.
Remengesau said that because the leaders and the delegation are coming from COVID-free nations, no quarantine will be necessary.
He also highlighted that the five nations are among the countries in the world that prioritised health over economy to keep the virus at bay.
“The reason why we are holding it is because we wanted to showcase the fact that everything does not have to be economic or profit-oriented. You can lock down your borders..suffer the economic impact but ensure the health of our people. That’s really the message. We have been able to do it, all five countries of Micronesia, because we locked down our borders, simple as that,” he said.
Remengesau said Palau and the other COVID-free nations closed its borders taking into account the health of the community.
The leaders are also joining Palau’s 26th Independence Day celebration on 01 October.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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