President Surangel Whipps Jr. and close to a dozen Palauan officials are headed to Guam on Sunday to attend the Joint Committee Meeting with United States officials. 

President’s Chief of Staff Landisang Kotaro confirmed the travel plans of the president but details of the trip are scant.   

The Ministry of Health also did not respond to inquiries by the media regarding the quarantine protocols required of the delegation upon return to Palau 

The trip is slated from May 10 to 12. So far, United Airlines schedules only show May 9 and May 30th schedules. 

Ms. Kotaro said that the press conference scheduled by the president today will “have more confirmed information” on the topics to be discussed during the meeting. 

The trip will be the first JCM President Whipps Jr. will attend amid the COVID-19 cases in Guam. This will also be the first in-person meeting between Palau and US officials since the pandemic-related border closure last year.

US Ambassador to Palau John Hennessy-Niland is expected to join the president and his delegation on the trip.

At the JCM meeting, the two nations’ officials usually tackle bilateral defense exercises and some issues that affect Palauans living in the United States.

According to information shared to the media, Whipps will be joined by Finance Minister Kaleb Udui, Infrastructure and Industries Minister Charles Obichang, President’s Chief of Staff Ms. Kotaro, Jennifer Anson, National Security Office Coordinator, and Gaafar Uherbelau, Deputy Incident Commander, EOC.

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