23 Jun 2004

Marshalls delegation promised hearings on compensation claim

10:39 am on 23 June 2004

A Marshall Islands delegation to Washington last week, pressing for a better deal for those affected by the American nuclear testing in the 1950s, says Congress has committed to start new hearings on the issue.

Around four years ago the Marshalls submitted a petition of changed circumstances to the US Government calling for more than two billion dollars in compensation payments.

Foreign Minister Gerald Zackios says they met with around 20 politicians and got a commitment that hearings on the petition would go ahead early in the next Congress.

"We are hopeful that in the short term we will be able to hear from the US adminstration on their review of the changed circumstances petition that was submitted to them by the Congress, and then we are also looking at early next year for the actual conducting of a number of hearings on the changed circumstances petitition before Congress, and when I say this we are looking at a March/April time frame"