Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

US Secretary of the Interior visits FSM Congress

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Congress News): June 13, 2007 - US Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne visited the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia. Secretary Kempthorne headed a high-level delegation, which included Admiral W.D. French, USN, Commander US Naval Forces Marianas, Assistant Secretary of the Navy BJ Penn, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Environment) of the Navy Donald R. Schhregardus, and Deputy Assitant Secretary of the Interior David Cohen. Also with the delegation was US Ambassador Suzanne Hale. The Delegation met with Speaker Isaac Figir and Vice-Speaker Resio Moses.

Speaker Figir welcomed the delegation and indicated that it was a sign of close relationship between the US and the FSM. Speaker Figir viewed the meeting as a crucial means for exchange of views and information. In particular, Speaker Figir referred to:

  • the approaching embargo on air cargo by Continental Airlines, which added to the ongoing restriction on luggage, is causing much hardship on Yap.

  • The wish of the FSM to take advantage of the build-up in Guam. Speaker Figir emphasized the need for capacity building for FSM labor, especially in construction trades.

Secretary Kempthorne replied that these concerns are noted. The Secretary re-emphasized the close relationship between the US and the FSM. "The U.S. and the FSM stand shoulder to shoulder" said Secretary Kempthorne. The U.S. is grateful and remembers the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of liberty in Iraq of Micronesians in the US Air Forces.

Secretary Kempthorne concluded by inviting the FSM's participation in the upcoming Business Opportunities Conference in Guam in October. Speaker Figir suggested that top-level executive from the US private sector be invited to discuss regional transportation issues.

Speaker Figir invited Secretary Kempthorne to plant a coconut tree. "This gesture shows faith in the future; like the FSM-US relationship, this coconut tree will grow up and bear fruit" said the Secretary.

The delegation also toured the FSM Congress Chamber.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122