The United States has appointed a Special Presidential Envoy, Ambassador Joseph Yun to conduct Compact negotiations with Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
Ambassador Yun, a former senior diplomat will lead the stalled talks between the three countries. FSM and RMI Compacts review are due next year 2023 while Palau’s Compact Review is due in 2024.
Palau, FSM and RMI have all requested the United States for higher-level negotiator who represented the whole of government. “We, including other FAS, have clearly requested the U.S. government to appoint a new negotiator, one who can speak on behalf of the whole government,” expressed President Surangel Whipps.
The appointment of a seasoned diplomat, Ambassador Yun, with more than 33 years of diplomatic experience serving as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea policy indicates the level of priority the U.S. is placing on these negotiations.
Statement from the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We are currently engaged in negotiating amendments to certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the FAS, and completing the negotiations is a priority for this Administration.”
“The Compacts reflect the close relationships between the United States and the FAS and are a critical source of regional security, stability, and prosperity. Through these negotiations, we will strengthen our enduring partnerships with our close Pacific Island partners and ensure a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, Blinken said in a statement.