A Palauan delegation headed by Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch had travelled to Hawaii last night, November 5, for the annual joint committee meeting (JCM) with the United States under the Compact of Free Association.

Oilouch left Palau along with seven other public officials namely the Minister of State Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, Education Minister Sinton Soalablai, Palau’s Consul General in Honolulu Uchel Naito, Compact Review Office Assistant to the Chief Negotiator Dwight Alexander, Mr. David Idip, Minister of State Chief of Staff and Acting Director of Foreign Affairs and Trade Jeffrey Antol, and Jennifer Anson of the Anti-Human Trafficking Office.

The meeting, which will be held on November 7 and 8, will dedicate sessions focusing on Palau’s defense, maritime domain awareness, maritime security, and border protection, and security sector institution development.

Palau’s delegation was initially composed of 13 officials but a reliable source said that it has been cut down to eight delegates as ordered by President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. to avoid over expense.

The United States delegation is composed of 23 officials, mostly from security and defense sector, and will be headed by United States Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyatt. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)