Vice President Raynold Oilouch said Palau is close to concluding negotiations with private landowners for the lease of sites where air and maritime radar systems will be installed by the United States.
Oilouch said private landowners of the sites are amenable to the deal.
The deal is to be finalized during a joint meeting between Palau officials and U.S. officials in Honolulu on Oct. 26.
“All landowners have agreed, now the issue is compensation,” Oilouch said.
We have to come to an agreement on the price and those are still under negotiation,” he said,
Oilouch said under the Compact Palau is supposed to pay for the lease of the property , however the sites identified are not listed in the Compact which will then allow the government to request for financial assistance from the United States to cover the cost of the lease agreement.
Officials of the two countries last met on Aug. 16 to discuss the proposed radar arrays.
An earlier joint statement from Palau and the U.S. explained that the “The radar systems will provide Palau enhanced maritime law enforcement capability in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone while also providing the United States with greater air domain awareness for aviation safety and security.”
Sites proposed by the U.S. team for the Aerial Domain Awareness (ADA) are in Ngaraard and Angaur.
The five MDA technologies are offered to Palau by the U.S. to assist with maritime enforcement and surveillance. Sites identified are Kayangel, Ngardmau, Angaur, Sonsorol and Helen Reef for the Maritime Domain Awareness Radar (MDA).
MDA’s are U.S. offer to Palau to help with maritime surveillance of its EEZ. The MDA radars are for Palau’s use, Oilouch said. The U.S. recommends the sites identified for MDA but Palau can eventually decide on the locations of the MDA system, he added.
ADAs however are for the U.S. use to ensure aviation safety and security in the region, amid threats of North Korea to fire missiles in Guam, a U.S. territory and a neighboring nation of Palau.
Under the Compact, Palau is obligated to provide lands to the U.S. for defense and security purposes. (B. Carreon) [/restrict]