East Asian and Pacific Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary W. Patrick Murphy of the United States said that Palau is not alone in securing its maritime domain, explaining further that “terrific” countries are working with the country on this area.

By “terrific”, Murphy was referring to Palau’s key partners in improving its marine law enforcement such as Japan, Australia, and the United States whom he labeled as countries with “strong democracies, who abide by the rule of law, and share similar vision of the Indo-Pacific.”

Murphy was in Palau last week to meet local government officials and also the media to discuss bilateral relationship with Palau including the US’ push for its Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.

“In other words, you have good partners and it is not just the United States but there also other good countries to work with and you want to maintain that because among the many challenges – the unreported, unregulated, underreported fishing – there are also infringements on countries’ sovereignty in terms of trafficking challenges, wildlife, narcotics,” Murphy said.

Murphy also said that this cooperation among the countries is the kind that the US wants to extend in many locations around the region.

Previously, Japan and Australia had previously donated patrol boats to Palau for its marine law enforcement. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)