Representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America recently concluded two days of discussion on extending US economic assistance, and other assistance, to the FSM after Fiscal Year 2023, when much of the US Government’s current annual assistance under the Compact of Free Association, as amended, between the FSM and the United States is set to expire.
The Compact of Free Association is described by the FSM as key to the important and ongoing relationship between the FSM and the US and contributes to the peace, security, and prosperity of the greater Indo-Pacific region.
The FSM team, led by Chief Negotiator Leo A. Falcam, Jr., included five other members of the FSM’s Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning (JCRP): Asterio R. Takesy, JCRP Chairman; Vice Speaker of the FSM Congress, Esmond B. Moses; FSM Senator, Aren B. Palik; FSM Ambassador to the United States, Akillino H. Susaia; and Mr. Gerson Jackson. JCRP advisers and staff were also in attendance.
The US team, led by Special Presidential Envoy Ambassador Joseph Yun, included Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular and International Affairs, Carmen G. Cantor; Ambassador Karen B. Stewart from the State Department; Interior Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Keone Nakoa; and staff from the Departments of State, Defense, and the Interior.
“I am very encouraged during this round of negotiations, and by the progress our governments have made in these negotiations in some key areas of our proposed Compact agreement beyond 2023. We have much more work to do but are engaging constructively, and I am optimistic we will reach an agreement later this year,” said Chief Negotiator Falcam.
Both sides plan to continue technical work and discussions in advance of the next formal round of negotiations which are planned to occur in September 2022.