Palau and the country of Tuvalu signed letters to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries during the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting last week in Suva, Fiji.
Palau Minister of State Gustav Aitaro and Tuvalu Minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe exchanged diplomatic notes, making Tuvalu the eleventh (11) Pacific Island country to establish diplomatic ties with Palau.
The other pacific island countries with diplomatic ties with Palau are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, and now Tuvalu.
The collective voice on national maritime boundaries is one of the critical reasons small island countries want to establish diplomatic ties. Tuvalu, said Minister Aitaro, and Palau, have issues with maritime boundaries, especially with rising sea levels and the danger of traditional maritime boundaries disappearing. “This is one area where we can work together and support each other,” added Minister Aitaro.
The remaining Forum member countries without diplomatic ties are Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Niue.