10 Jun 2013

Palau to lobby US Congress on free association compact

3:45 pm on 10 June 2013

Palau's President, Tommy Remengesau, is meeting US officials in Washington this week to push for passage of the US-Palau Compact of Free Association.

The Compact was approved several years ago by negotiators from the US State Department and Palau, but it has languished in Congress because of ongoing US deficit issues.

Mr Remengesau told the Marianas Variety that the lack of action in Congress is not because the US has lost faith in the compact and he hopes to meet congressional leaders and staff this week.

He said there are a lot of new players in Congress and Palau needs to start over again to make people aware of the relationship.

He says a key issue for moving the Compact forward is for Congress to offset the price tag of Compact aid with budget reductions in other areas.