MARSHALL ISLANDS TO SET UP COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION OFFICE

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (January 13, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The new Marshall Islands government has set aside US$ 200,000 for the establishment of an office to deal with current Compact of Free Association negotiations with the United States.

President Kessai Note announced the financial allocation in his interim budget, which was delivered to the Nitijela (legislature) this week.

The new Office of Compact Negotiation and Implementation will come under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Funding from the U.S. under the Compact is due to expire next year. Prior to any renewal, key U.S. congressional leaders have asked the U.S. Government Accounting Agency to assess how prior funding has been spent.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT Links PageNews/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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