Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Asterio Takesy presents credentials to President Barak Obama

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): January 31, 2012 - Another historic page in the special relationship between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America was turned on 18 January 2012 at approximately 1530 HRS (US EST), when Asterio R Takesy presented his credentials to President Barak Obama as the FSM Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America.

"From one Pacific islander to another," Ambassador Takesy expressed his heartfelt appreciation to President Obama for accepting his credentials, " this is certainly a rare honor and distinct privilege for which my wife Justina and our entire family join me in expressing my most heartfelt personal gratitude." In conveying President Mori's best wishes for President Obama's continued good health and success, as well as special greetings from the people and leaders of the Federated States of Micronesia upon the commencement of the new year, Ambassador Takesy suggested that the presentation of credentials be seen as more than just a ceremonial exercise but a concrete "testimony to the special friendship and historic links between our peoples that are enshrined in the Compact of Free Association treaty between our two countries."

Ambassador Takesy seized the opportunity of the credentialing ceremonies to reiterate President Mori's unwavering commitment to the spirit of partnership upon which our special relationship under the Compact is founded. He emphasized that President Mori had specifically directed him to help find ways and means to sustain and further enhance the Spirit of Partnership from which both countries have benefited, and sought support by acknowledging: "There is no doubt that I will look to you, Mr. President, and your government to meet this daunting challenge."

In acknowledging the role of the US Government as "invaluable partner in our nation-building endeavors," Ambassador Takesy noted that the Compact is not confined to engagement at the bilateral level, as the two countries have often found occasions to collaborate in the multilateral arena as well, especially at the United Nations. Ambassador Takesy referred to the wide spectrum of the relationship: "Beyond our economic, social and political collaboration, we also have bilateral arrangement for defense and security cooperation. Our defense and security cooperation arrangement is a major component of our overall relationship that has sustained us (FSM), has enriched us, and has made us a strong small island democracy in our part of the world. Moreover, it gives credence to the Spirit of Partnership."

In his reply, President Obama remarked that the FSM and US "share an exceptionally close history and unique friendship, enshrined in our Compact of Free Association, through which we work together on such issues as health and education. We have common and deep commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and regional stability."

On the bilateral defense and security cooperation arrangement and the participation of the FSM citizens in the US Armed Forces, the President further remarked: "We especially value our close cooperation to promote regional security. US armed services appreciate their productive relationship with the FSM, as we work together to sustain stability in the Pacific region. Micronesian citizens serve with distinction in the US armed forces. We honor their commitment and their sacrifices, and we value their contribution to help promote freedom around the world, including in Afghanistan."

In expressing US appreciation for "our very close partnership with the FSM on key issues at the United Nations," President Obama concluded by reiterating the desirability of working closely "to advance our common agenda and deepen the strong and abiding friendship of our countries and our people."

The credentialing ceremonies took place at the Oval Office in the White House, where Ambassador Takesy was accompanied by his spouse Justina Takesy, daughter Andria Takesy and members of her family: husband Dennis Lim and their daughters Jia-Rui, Shu Han, and Li-An.

President Obama's engaging personality and Ambassador Takesy's reference to the common denominator of being " fellow Pacific islander" worked to temper the usual rigidity of formality of diplomatic credentialing ceremonies. Another shared link was informally established -- when Justina expressed terimakasi baniak (Bahasa Indonesian) or sincere appreciation for welcoming the FSM Ambassador and his family to the White House and to the US - and when President Obama reciprocated, upon taking leave, to bid them farewell in Bahasa Indonesian as well.

The FSM and US entered into their Compact relationship when the original Compact treaty went into effect in 1986. Takesy was present at the creation of the original treaty - from the time that it was being negotiated in the late 1970s and 1980s until it was implemented. After serving in what was then known as the Micronesian "Representative" office in Washington DC before the Compact went into effect, Ambassador Takesy subsequently served as FSM Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and later Secretary of Resources and Development, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Moreover, he was involved in the renegotiation of the present Amended Compact treaty. Apart from the high-level positions that he has held in the FSM Government, Ambassador Takesy also served for six years as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa. A graduate of Xavier High School in Chuuk, Takesy had attended the University of Guam and the University of New Mexico

Following the credentialing ceremonies, the FSM Embassy hosted a reception to welcome the new Ambassador that was attended by Ambassador Kyota of the Republic of Palau, Ambassador Paul of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, including personal friends, FSM citizens residing in the Washington area and suburbs, NGOs, officials and staff from the State and Interior Departments, as well as US Congress. At the reception, Ambassador Takesy expressed his sincere appreciation to the invited quests for honoring him with their presence and for their continued demonstration of support for the FSM.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356