WASHINGTON (FSM GOVT) — Representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America have met to exchange views and discuss planning for ongoing work on expiring provisions of the Compact of Free Association and related subsidiary agreements between the two nations.
FSM Chief Negotiator Leo A. Falcam, Jr, and U.S Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations Ambassador Joseph Yun led their respective delegations in a discussion of progress to date and review of work to quickly achieve agreement in principle.
At the meeting, FSM Chief Negotiator presented the country’s economic assistance proposal indicating that the FSM will propose amendments to the Fiscal Procedures Agreement within the next several weeks.
The two nations welcomed the constructive discussions and reaffirmed their commitment to the September 2022 completion of these negotiations. The sides plan to continue ongoing work in advance of the next formal round of negotiations scheduled to begin no later than June 2022, at a location to be determined.
With the exception of informal consultations between negotiators in Honolulu during November 2021, Thursday’s engagement represented the first in-person meetings of the Compact teams since the global COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. During this period the sides have continued technical discussions on certain aspects of the Compact and related subsidiary agreements by videoconference.
It also marked the first formal engagement by newly appointed U.S Special Presidential Envoy Yun since his appointment by President Joe Biden in March 2022.
The meeting came on the heels of last week’s visit to Washington by President David Panuelo of the FSM, which included meetings between President Panuelo and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Ambassador Yun.
The U.S-FSM Compact of Free Association entered into force in 1986 and provided economic assistance, programmes and services to the FSM for an initial period of seventeen years, until 2003.
The economic assistance and programmes and services provisions of the Amended Compact now in force are scheduled to end at the end of Fiscal Year 2023 unless they are extended. Other elements of the Compact and its subsidiary agreements have no expiration date and remain in effect…. PACNEWS