Representative Dianne Watson is a member of the U.S. House International
Relations Committee and the former U.S. Ambassador to the FSM during
President Bill Clinton's administration. She and her three staff were
visiting the FSM to meet with representatives of the FSM, Pohnpei State,
U.S. agencies and others regarding the status of the current negotiations
between the U.S. and the FSM. She and some U.S. court officials along with
other court officials from FSM National and State Supreme courts were
introduced during the reception.
Vice Speaker Claude Phillip delivered the welcoming statement. The
following is the statement in full text:
"Tonight we gather to welcome back an old friend. She is too young for
that description - rather, let me say, a "dear" friend, because that is what
she is to us. The Honorable Dianne Watson, as you all know, was formerly,
United States Ambassador to the FSM and now a Member of the U.S. House of
Representatives. Welcome, Representative Watson! It's really nice to see
We also want to welcome Army Major Susan Riopel, who is accompanying
Representative Watson. I understand, Major Riopel, that this is your first
visit to the FSM. I hope you're enjoying your visit and that this visit
won't be your last visit to our country.
As many of you know, Representative Watson and her staff are here in
Pohnpei to meet with representatives of the FSM, Pohnpei State, U.S.
agencies, and others about the status of current negotiations between the
U.S. and the FSM on the renewal of the Compact of Free association, and to
view once again the progress being made by our people with the generous
assistance provided by the United States since the beginning of the Compact.
We're glad you're here, Representative Watson, and hope that your meetings
have been and will be positive and informative. I think you'll agree that
much has been accomplished since our tiny islands joind together to become
one country. I'm sure you will also agree that much remains to be done.
With your help, and that of the United States Government, I know we will
accomplish much more, and let me say this is a promise.
Here in the FSM, we know that Dianne Watson is a true friend. We are
grateful that she is a Member of the U.S. Houise Representatives and
particularly, a member of the House International Relations Committee. As
the saying goes, "it's always nice to have friends in high places," and
Dianne Watson is one of those friends.
By the way, Representative Watson, just so you know, we are all praying
for you re-election in November. I'm confident the good people of the
32nd Congressional District in Los Angeles know "a good thing" when they see
it and believe me, Dianne Watson is definitely "a good thing" for
California, for the 32nd Congressional District, for the U.S. AND for the
Representative Watson, we're happy you've come "home" to visit and hope
that you will come back again. We miss your energy, your enthusiasm, your
wisdom and your guidance. We know of your love for our islands and know
that you will pass the massage on to your friends and colleagues in
Washington that the FSM is a true friend of the United States.
We are grateful for the very generous assistance that has been provided to
us by the U.S. for the past fifteen years, and we are grateful for the
constant friendship the U.S. and its people have shown us. Due in large
part to people like you, who have come to know us and our ways what we
like to call "the island way" has true meaning, and tonight this reception
is just a small part of our island way. We hope you will relax, enjoy
talking with old friends, and have a good time.
In the FSM, we are proud of our close association with the United States
and the American people. We look forward to a continuing close relationship
for many years to come. And for tonight, relax and enjoy. This is, after
all, Micronesia! Welcome, Representative Watson, welcome, Major Riopel, and
welcome to all of you. Thank you"
Rep. Dianne Watson made her remarks after Vice Speaker Phillip and
explained how she became a member of the International Relations Committee
and what she intended to do when the compact between the FSM and U.S. comes
to Congress. She assured the officials and the people at the reception that
she will try her best in doing what she thinks good for both the two
nations. She believes both nations will be satisfied with the end result of
the compact renegotiations and wished that the signed agreement will be
forwarded to Congress before the October session.