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TARAWA, Kiribati (April 27, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Kiribati)---Micronesian countries have thrown their support behind Kiribati's claim that it will be the first country in the world to see the dawn of the new millennium.

Kiribati President Teburoro Tito said the support came at a meeting of Micronesian Executives in the Marshall Islands capital, Majuro, last week.

The major Micronesian countries and territories include Kiribati, Guam, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

Tito said a Government-sponsored committee looking after Kiribati's millennium celebrations has spent US$ 129,000 in promoting Christmas Island and Millennium Island (formerly Caroline Island) as millennium tourist destinations through the Internet, television and radio commercials.

Tito said Kiribati would increase hotel rooms and upgrade other visitor facilities on Christmas Island, the site of the country's main millennium celebrations.

The Kiribati Government decided last year to move the International Date Line east of the Line Islands in its bid to become the first country in the world to see the light of the new millennium.

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