Palikir, Pohnpei- On July 25th, His Excellency Wesley W. Simina, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), along with The Honorable Aren B. Palik, the Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia, received The Honorable Deb Haaland, Secretary of Interior and her delegation from the United States Government.
President Simina conveyed his welcoming remarks to Secretary Haaland by thanking her for attending the Joint Inauguration Ceremony on behalf of President Biden. President Simina also thanked the Biden Administration for its continued support for the strong and enduring FSM-US relationship, noting the bipartisan support for the Compact Impact Fairness Act, which will restore eligibility to FSM citizens lawfully residing in the U.S. for key federal benefits and programs. President Simina also conveyed his appreciation to Assistant Secretary Cantor, and former US Ambassador to the FSM, for her and her team’s instrumental role in the progress thus far in regards to the Amended U.S.-FSM Compact Agreement. President Simina further stated that the FSM 23rd Congress has ratified the Amended Compact and emphasized the importance of the pending matters being resolved in a timely manner and encouraged that the Administration to actively work with US Congress to ensure the FAS countries can have certainty in planning over the next 20-year compact period.
After the President’s remarks, Secretary Haaland conveyed her appreciation and congratulations on behalf of President Biden and her delegation, and thanked President Simina for welcoming them to the Federated States of Micronesia. Secretary Haaland also stated that the US Government will continue to support the FSM and continue to strengthen the important U.S.-FSM partnership. Secretary Haaland also announced that the U.S. Government has approved 6 grant proposals that the FSM submitted to the US Government through the Department of Interior, as listed below:
$250,162 to Pohnpei State Government to meet requirements for a management unit for the Nan Madol World Heritage Site and conduct vegetation removal and management training;
$198,304 to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for technical assistance support to Yap State to conduct a comprehensive review of the Dinay Water Reservoir;
$195,492 to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for technical support to Pohnpei State for Pohnpei Utility Corporation’s Photovoltaic and Island Energy Systems optimization project;
$176,960 to The Nature Conservancy in support of developing capacity among local conservation partners who manage marine and terrestrial resources across the FSM; and
$156,000 to the Pohnpei State Office of the Public Auditor for training.
Vice President Palik also thanked the US Government for completing the Kosrae State Hospital project. He also stated that the FSM continues to seek assistance from the U.S. Government for pending projects in the FSM such as the Chuuk State Hospital.
Both sides expressed their concerns and willingness to complete the pending issues in regards to the Amended Compact. Both sides also raised the importance of US-FSM relations and concluded by restating their appreciation for each other and their continued desire in strengthening the enduring US-FSM relationship.
On the same note, Secretary Haaland conveyed that the Biden Administration looks forward to meeting President Simina at the US-Pacific Summit in the latter part of the year.