12 Jun 2012

Palau president has faith in continued US funding

2:13 pm on 12 June 2012

The President of Palau says he won't consider financial assistance from countries, other than the United States, despite a delay in funding promised nearly two years ago.

In September 2010, the president Johnson Toribiong under the Compact of Free Association, signed a review agreement with the US, which allocated about 250 million dollars to Palau for the next 15 years beginning in 2009.

Mr Toribiong says it still hasn't been acted on by the US government because of budget constraints, and the funding for Palau has to be made by offsetting other existing programmes.

Some congressmen have warned continued inaction will result in some Palauans being enticed by assistance from nations in Asia and the Middle East but Mr Toribiong says that won't happen under his watch.

"As long as I'm in office that won't happen but if somebody wins that may happen. Because I have full commitment to the United States on this free association relationship and I'm not going to take any action to endanger its continuation."

Johnson Toribiong says he is optimistic that the agreement will be approved by congress by the end of the year.