Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Urusemal Visits the State of Israel

Palikir, POHNPEI (Department of Foreign Affairs): July 8, 2005 - President Joseph J. Urusemal and his delegation have recently returned home from an official visit to the State of Israel.

President of Israel Moshe Katsav invited President Urusemal to visit his country where President Urusemal successfully held meetings with high government officials including the Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Mr. Silvan Shalom, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The President and his delegation also had the occasion to meet with the Speaker of the Knesset the Honorable Reuven Rivlin and were recognized by Speaker Rivlin before the Knesset session, " Today, we are very happy to be hosting in the Knesset a very dear friend, who has come here from the far away islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Welcome to the Knesset, Your Excellency, Mr. Joseph J. Urusemal, President of the Federated States of Micronesia. Your visit here, Mr. President is the third visit to Israel by a President of Micronesia, and this emphasizes the very warm and special relations between our two countries, despite the enormous geographical distance between us.

Speaker Rivlin thanked President Urusemal and stated, "we have very good memories of your country's firm and constant support for Israel in the international arena, your country has never given in to pressures at the United Nations Assembly, together with the United States, you stood alone in the United Nations".

The delegation also visited the holy sites in Jerusalem and Galilee, including sight visits to the Church of Announciation, the Holy Sepulture, the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall tunnels, the Spring Church, Kapernahum, Tabaha and Mount Beautitude. The delegation also toured kibbutz at Zorah and paid a visit to the Yad Vashem memorial of the holocaust where the President laid a wreath in a ceremony at the Remembrance Hall.

President Urusemal also visited the forest of Nations where he participated in a tree planting ceremony in remembrance of his visit to the Holy land.

At the meeting between the two presidents held in President Katsav's office on June 20th, the two leaders spoke of the close relations between Israel and the FSM and their mutual support for continued cooperation between their two countries.

President Katsav hosted a state dinner in honor of the President and First Lady Olania Latileilam at his official residence.

President Katsav, during the dinner expressed the appreciation of the Israeli People toward the FSM and its people.

President Urusemal reciprocated with a formal statement describing the relationship between the FSM and Israel as having shared interests on the principle of national sovereignty and self-determination and the right to exist in peace and harmony and determination to promote the socio-economic priorities of its peoples.

He told an audience including government officials, business executives, representatives of the media and friends of the two countries, of the early establishment of diplomatic relations between the FSM and Israel and the growing support for each other most notably at the United Nations.

He also commended Israel for the efforts and constructive role in the process that would enhance the security of her people and bring about lasting peace in the region as a whole.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Sharon, the Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to President Urusemal for the FSM's friendship and support for Israel at the United Nations.

The Prime Minister briefed the President on the difficult ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinians. During this meeting he also offered the help of his government to the FSM government.

Accompanying the President on the official visit were First Lady Olania Latileilam; Speaker the Honorable Peter M. Christian and Mrs. Maurina Christian; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lorin S. Robert; Ambassador of the FSM to the United States and Israel Mr. Jesse B. Marehalau and Mrs. Martha Marehalau; Department of Foreign Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Affairs Mr. Johnny Hadley, Jr., President's Information Officer Mr. Elieser Rospel and Ms. Emma Nelson.

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