Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. (screenshot from the press conference, Office of the Palau President)

The United States Indo-Pacific Command senior military leaders hosted Palau’s President Surangel Whipps Jr. at the Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) held in Guam this May 11-12.
This was the first JCM meeting held in person since 2019. Due to COVID-19 effects, no JCM meetings were held in 2020 between the two countries.
The JCM meetings, semi-annual meetings between United States and Palau on security and defense matters, are mandated under the Compact of Free Association. According to press release by Joint Region Marianas Office, the meeting covered range of topics including “regional security and defense matters and joint-use construction and training opportunities.”
Last administration, then President Tommy Remengesau Jr. had expressed an invite to the United States through its States’ Defense Secretary Mark Esper during his visit to Palau, for US military to build joint use facilities for the use of both US military and the Republic of Palau.
US Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland reflected on the value of the periodic meetings between the two countries saying “The JCM meeting was successful as there was positive discussion on future projects for Palau. These efforts signify the continuing partnership that we have with our ally, Palau.”
US Senior military leaders from Indo-Pacific Command hosted the meeting included Brig. General Jennifer Short, deputy director for INDOPACOM’s Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, and Rear Admiral John Menoni, Joint Region Marianas commander and INDOPACOM’s senior military official.

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