Talks on Compact implementation going "very well"

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Pacnews): July 3, 2003 - US Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior, David Cohen said that US-FSM talks last week in Honolulu to discuss implementation of the new Compact of Free Association had gone "very well".

"Now that the Compact has been signed, we're working through the nuts and bolts of implementation," said Cohen, after a positive meeting with President Joseph Urusemal and Vice President Redley Killion in Pohnpei.

"The Compact still needs legislative approval in both countries, but we have no choice but to plan under the assumption that the Compact will be approved in a timely fashion. Otherwise, we won't be ready to implement the new Compact by October 1," Cohen continued.

Financial assistance under the current Compact is scheduled to expire on 30 September 2003. The amendments to the Compact would significantly change how financial assistance is provided and accounted for.