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Joint U.S. Congressional Committee Hearing on “Sustainable U.S. Pacific Insular Relationships”
WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. Congress House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a joint oversight hearing on September 26th, 2019 on “Sustaining U.S. Pacific Insular Relationships.” His Excellency Akilino H. Susaia, Ambassador of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to the U.S., and His Excellency Gerald Zackios, Ambassador of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to the U.S., joined the panel of witnesses inclusive of the U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Interior, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The general discussion centered around the need for the U.S. to step up its engagement and presence in the Pacific region, with particular emphasis on the need to strengthen U.S. relationships with the three Freely Associated States (FAS): the FSM, the RMI, and the Republic of Palau.
“The United States is and has been the closest friend and ally of the Federated States of Micronesia as the FSM continues to grow and flourish as a young nation,” testified Ambassador Susaia. “The U.S. and the FSM have a longstanding strategic partnership that reflects the values of our two countries, including our commitment to promoting sovereignty, the rule of law, democracy, and regional security.”
The testimony from the U.S side was collectively positive in the U.S. overall effort to continue strengthen the longstanding relationship with the three FAS. This was a rare opportunity for both sides—the U.S. and the FAS—to further speak to the strength of the relationship enshrined in the Compacts of Free Association. It was also a rare event to have two House Committees in a joint hearing—the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs—having oversight jurisdictions over the FAS countries.
The three FAS of the FSM, RMI, and Palau have a Compact of Free Association with the United States, certain provisions of which are expiring in 2023 for the FSM and RMI, and 2024 for Palau.
The hearing in its entirety, along with the written testimonies, can be access and viewed at the following link: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2019/9/sustaining-u-s-pacific-insular-r...
Citizens of the FSM are particularly encouraged to read Ambassador Susaia’s testimony, which can be found here: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20190926/110046/HHRG-116-FA00-Ws...
For more information on the hearing and the enduring, special, and perpetual relationship between the FSM and the United States, please contact the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia in Washington, D.C. at +1-202-223-4383, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through its online contact form here: http://www.fsmembassydc.org/webform/contact-us
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