MICRONESIAN LEADERS WANT AUDIENCE WITH U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON IN GUAM

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Variety News Staff

HAGATNA, Guam (October 28, 1998 - Marianas Variety)---Pacific island legislators are seeking a chance to meet with President Clinton when he visits here to discuss their various issues with him.

This developed after Guam Sen. Carlotta Leon Guerrero, President of the Association of Pacific Island Legislators (APIL), was invited by the Council of Micronesian Chief Executives (CMCE) to hold a meeting on Guam coinciding with Clinton's visit.

APIL and CMCE were originally scheduled to hold a Legislative-Executive Summit November 9-11 in Chuuk. But Guam was included in Clinton's itinerary and Gov. Carl T. C. Gutierrez invited CMCE leaders to come to Guam and meet with Clinton during the president's November 14-15 visit.

Leon Guerrero said she understood that CMCE would not want to pass up this opportunity to meet with Clinton.

CMCE is composed of presidents, governors and other executive branch leaders in the region while APIL is composed of senators, congressmen, speakers, senate presidents and other leaders in the legislative branch of government.

"If the CMCE is going to be here on Guam on November 14 for President Clinton's visit, I realize that they are not going to be interested in attending the Chuuk conference," the senator said.

"So I called up the President of the CMCE and he has invited APIL to attend the Clinton visit here to so that we could hold the meeting with CMCE here," Leon Guerrero added. She also said that CMCE has already sent letters to its members informing them of the APIL-CMCE meeting.

Leon Guerrero said the schedule change might turn out for the better as both the CMCE and APIL could have a chance to present to President Clinton whatever issues and recommendations they would take up during their meeting.

One matter that Leon Guerrero wants to take up with President Clinton is the conservation and development of Pacific ocean resources.

President Clinton's visit, Leon Guerrero said, is a good opportunity to have Micronesia's concerns addressed.

"We very much need financial support and expert advice on how to control these fishing grounds for the benefit of us islanders," Leon Guerrero said.

In addition, Leon Guerrero plans to lobby for the continuation of economic aid to Micronesia in light of the re-negotiation of the U.S. Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

"If the U.S. cuts off economic aid to Micronesia and decides not to give any more money, while leaving the door open for Micronesian migration to Guam and CNMI, then Guam and CNMI will both have more problems," Leon Guerrero said.

For additional reports from the Marianas Variety, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Marianas Variety.

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