The Marshall Islands president, Christopher Loeak, says the United States presence and engagement with the Pacific region at this week's meetings in Majuro is important.
Mr Loeak's comment came after the Marshalls foreign minister, Phillip Muller, was quoted as saying the Obama Administration's choice to send the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to head the US delegation was very disappointing.
Ms Jewell, who stayed for less than a day, has only been the third U.S. Cabinet member to visit Majuro since 1988.
The Interior Department administers U.S. government funding to the Marshall Islands through a Compact of Free Association.