US Congressional Delegation

U.S. Congressional delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks stopped in Palau for a couple of days on a fact-finding mission to show U.S. bipartisan commitment to its Pacific allies, including Palau.

“It is not by accident that we’re here.  We decided to make a trip here, specifically to come to Palau, because we know the long-standing and special relations that we have.  As a Freely Associated State, Palau is a trusted United States partner and a champion of the rules-based order here in the Pacific,” said Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY).

The visit follows another US congressional delegation that visited Palau in early October led by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida), chair of the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

Explaining why so many US congressional visits were happening within a short time, Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) said, “We want to send a clear message to the people of Palau. We are grateful to them. We’re grateful for the partnership that we’ve had back to World War Two but certainly since the Compact was negotiated.” 

Further, Representative Suozzi said that the relationship with the Pacific islands “is very very important to the United States. And we need to up our game and spend more time to give more attention to these relations.”

The US representatives revealed that the mission was quite informative, and they learned a lot from meeting people on this visit.  “It is important that our assistance aligns with the needs of the people, which is why our visit is so important here,” explained Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI), a Republican delegation member.

The US congress members on the delegation believe that US midterm elections will not impact the Compact Review outcomes. Members of Congress, both democrats, and republicans, support the US relationship with Palau. “This is a bipartisan delegation. We recognize that our relationship between the United States and Palau knows no party and that it is something that transcends a lot of partisanship that we see in the United States today,” Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) added.

US congressional delegation departed a day before Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-Tse visited Palau.  And while Vice President Lai Ching-Tse is on the island, the mandated annual Joint Committee Meeting between Palau and US Defense military and civilian officials is taking place.

The US Congressional delegation left Palau on Tuesday, continuing their mission to Australia.

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