Representational image/ By skeeze from Pixabay

Koror, July 30, 2019 —  An official of the United States government said that the United States Coast Guard focuses on its important role in providing support to their partner countries which include the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands (RMI), and Palau.

US State Department Director for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Nicholas Dean, in a telephone conference, said that preserving the livelihood of Pacific Island countries, who rely greatly on their ocean resources for livelihood, is the “central pillar” of the US’ relationship with the Pacific Island countries.

Dean noted that maritime law enforcement has been an issue for all Pacific island countries.

“Maritime law enforcement is a subject that we focus on, certainly including through the important role of the Coast Guard in providing support to our partner countries, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau,” Dean said, as a response to the media’s inquiry about whether there are any indications that Beijing is interested in exerting influence around US Pacific territories.

I think the focus of maritime law enforcement in particular on fisheries enforcement, preserving the livelihood of Pacific Island countries, is a very important, central pillar of our relationship, certainly with the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and Marshall Islands, but also with other Pacific Island countries with whom we have, what we call, shiprider Agreements which are arrangements under which we conduct Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Patrols,” Dean added. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)