photo of rock islands (VOA Learning English)

The United States and Palau began the initial talks for the upcoming Compact of Free Association (COFA) negotiation through a consultation meeting held at the Palau Royal Resort on October 8.

The US consultation team shared the need for them to gather information about the issues that Palau wanted to address about the COFA.

Vice President Raynold Oilouch, during the press conference on Wednesday, said that after the US consultation team gathers inputs from Palau, it will submit a report to their government for action.

Oilouch said that once the US government gives the authorization, the COFA negotiation will soon start. There was, however, no mention of the date of the commencement of the actual COFA negotiation yet.

The Vice President also reiterated the announcement of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said during a meeting with the Freely Associated States leaders earlier this year that the US wants to finalize the negotiation before 2020 ends.

Palau’s delegation, through Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, also voiced out to the consultation team the request for a continuing help with the Compact Trust Fund.