13 Sep 2012

Guam's Congresswoman urges support for Palau Compact renewal

11:10 am on 13 September 2012

Guam's representative in the United States Congress says continued delays in renewing Palau's Compact of Free Association may jeopardise the US's diplomatic relations and political capital with its allies in the region.

At a congressional subcommittee hearing, Madeleine Bordallo, stressed the need to find mutually agreeable offsets to advance the legislation, which was delivered to Congress last January after nearly two years of negotiations with Palau.

In June Palau's president said the US was still trying to offset against existing programmes the 250 million US dollars it allocated under the 15-year agreement that was signed in 2009.

Congresswoman Bordallo says she has urged the Obama administration to engage more with Congress to help secure a renewed agreement that addresses the requirements of Palau's government.

She says the renewal of the Compact is about more than federal financial support and impacts on America's safety and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Congresswoman says in view of that, military base rights under the agreement are particularly important.