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President Panuelo Announces Intent to Reaffirm Diego Benavente’s Appointment as Honorary Consul of the FSM to the CNMI; Requests Benavente’s Appropriate Support in Assisting FSM Agricultural Exports to the CNMI
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On January 15th, 2020 His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), received the Honorable Diego Benavente, Honorary Consul of the FSM to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Honorary Consul Benavente was in Pohnpei to attend the Inauguration of the FSM State of Pohnpei’s Leadership, among other matters. The primary outcomes of the meeting were the President’s request that Honorary Consul Benavente dedicate appropriate time and resources to liaising between the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, the Government of the CNMI, et al. with regards to the proposed exportation of FSM agricultural goods to Saipan and other islands, and the President’s announcement that he’d reappoint Honorary Consul Benavente for the duration of his administration.
“We have an opportunity to thank you again,” President Panuelo began. “Thank you [Honorary Consul Benavente] for your service and friendship to the [FSM]…I will be issuing a letter reaffirming your appointment as our Honorary Consul.” The President noted his appreciation for Honorary Consul Benavente’s reliable collaboration with the Honorable Teresa Filepin, Consul General of the FSM to Guam, and for his dedication towards supporting FSM citizens who reside in the CNMI.
The conversation then moved to the President’s meeting on January 13th, 2020 with the Honorable Ralph DLG Torres, Governor of the CNMI; the President and Governor had discussed the possibility of the FSM exporting produce to the CNMI, such as taro, bananas, and yams. “I really want to pursue that,” President Panuelo said, requesting Honorary Consul Benavente’s assistance, where appropriate and possible, to help push the initiative.
After discussing various subjects of mutual interest, the meeting ended on a positive note with President Panuelo advising that he and Vice President George look forward to meeting the FSM community in the CNMI at some point in the administration.