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The President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), David W.Panuelo has meet his Marshall Islands counterpart, David Kabua in Majuro on Monday.
The two Micronesian leaders met for the first time after the inauguration of Marshall Islands 9th President in Majuro.
President Panuelo used the meeting to discuss important sub-regional issues with the new Marshall Islands President, who has replaced Hilda Heine.
FSM Information Services reports that amongst outcomes of the meeting included Marshall Islands appreciation for the FSM’s support for the country’s bid for a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council and for supporting its candidate for the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Ambassador Gerald Zackios. Zackios is currently Marshall Islands, Ambassador of the RMI to the United States of America.
“We really feel at home and, as you said, we are happy to work together. On behalf of our Government and our citizens, all of us, we congratulate you…. So I want to say that we’re proud of you, and proud of your new administration. It’s a full circle: your father was the First President of the [RMI], and now forty years later you, his second son, become the Ninth President of the RMI.”
President Panuelo and President Kabua joked that they’re both the ninth President of their respective countries, and they’re both named David—it was noted that this is a sign that they must work closely together.
President Panuelo spoke about the FSM’s efforts to promote Marshall Islands’ interests in joining the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as the FSM’s efforts to promote Ambassador Zackios to become the next Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
“Even when we were in Japan at the Enthronement of His Majesty, the Emperor, I met with [Pacific leaders] lobbying for the RMI…because it’s a regional [and subregional] effort.”
“Your success is our success, just as our success is your success,” President Panuelo said.
President Panuelo and President Kabua also spoke, briefly, about the negotiations for the Compact of Free Association, as Amended (COFA). President Panuelo noted that, where appropriate, the new RMI administration under President Kabua can look forward to coordination and assistance with the FSM.
“We look forward to coordinating our [COFA] approaches, and I assure you that my administration will work closely with yours to make sure that progress [occurs for the FSM, the RMI, and the Republic of Palau], said President Panuelo.
Pacific Islands News Association
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