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PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (October 5, 2000 - FSM Information Service)---President Leo A. Falcam and his delegation recently returned home from an official state visit to Israel.

President of Israel Moshe Katsav invited President Falcam to make the state during which President Falcam held meetings with high government officials including the Israeli President Katsav, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman of the Likud Party and Leader of the Opposition Ariel Sharon.

The President and his delegation also had the occasion to meet with members of the Israel-Australia-New Zealand and Oceania Chamber of Commerce, and the founders of the Israel-Micronesia Friendship Association.

They also met with Israeli experts who have previously visited the FSM and provided technical assistance in various areas such as anesthesiology, hydrology, agriculture and sports.

The delegation also visited the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, Galilee and Nazareth, toured a kibbutz at Zorah and paid a visit to the Yad Vashem, a memorial to the holocaust, where the President laid a wreath in a ceremony at the Remembrance Hall.

At the meetings between the two presidents, held in President Katsav’s office on September 14, 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 Iris Falcam at his official residence.

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

President Falcam reciprocated with a formal statement describing the relationship between the FSM and Israel as a "…bond of friendship, respect, and solidarity in our respective struggles to achieve a peaceful and secure existence for our future generations."

He told an audience including Knesset (Parliament) members, business executives, academics 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 emphasized the need to foster the "people to people" element of this relationship in saying that, "it is my hope by this visit to open a period of closer and more regular contacts between our governments and peoples."

During a meeting with Prime Minister Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to President Falcam 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.

The FSM Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ieske Iehsi, and State of Israel Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eytan Bentsur signed a document summarizing the discussions between the two governments.

The document reflects the efforts undertaken during the visit by both governments in reviewing the bilateral relations between the two countries and affirmed their efforts to promote mutually beneficial cooperation in fields of common interest such as agriculture, communication, public health, education, management of water resources, development of human resources, transfer of technology, cooperation in development projects, cultivation of Judeo-Christian traditions and heritage, and other areas as may be mutually agreed upon.

Furthermore, and in view of the Micronesian practice of granting entry visas to Israeli citizens upon arrival in the FSM, the Israeli side has decided, as an act of reciprocity, to simplify the entry of the FSM citizens into Israel, to begin in the near future, to grant entry visas to FSM citizens at the international crossing points of the State of Israel.

Accompanying the President on the state visit, which began immediately after the UN Millennium Summit in New York, were First Lady Iris Falcam; Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Sebastian Anefal; Senator Isaac V. Figir, Chairman of the Committee on External Affairs; Senator Peter Christian, Chairman of the Committee on Resources and Development and also the FSM Chief Negotiator for the Compact of Free Association Renegotiation; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs Ieske K. Iehsi; Executive Director of the JCN Asterio Takesy; Department of Foreign Affairs Foreign Service Officers Matt Maradol and Herman Semes Jr.; Secretary to the President Marilyn Jack, and the President’s Information Officer, Elieser Rospel.



PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (October 4, 2000 – FSM Information Service)---The Department of Economic Affairs hosted a Public Sector Enterprise Workshop, September 25-26, at Palikir to discuss and make further commitments to transforming many of the publicly-owned commercial enterprises.

Over 75 people representing the state and national governments, many from public sector enterprises (PSE’s), and the private sector attended the workshop.

An Asian Development Bank team of consultants from the Aries Group and the Department of Economic Affairs supported the workshop.

The participants held open discussions about the criteria for reforming PSE’s and the range of stakeholders affected by the proposed challenges, and developed further plans and strategies for reforming several key public companies, according to the communiqué issued after the workshop.

In the communiqué the PSE analyzed and discussed issued regarding the following:

FSM Telecommunications Corporation National Aquaculture Center in Kosrae Pohnpei Fisheries Corporation Pohnpei Radio Station Chuuk Hospital Services Chuuk Airport and Port Authority Micronesian Petroleum Corporation Kosrae School Bus Service Yap Radio and Television Yap Public Transportation Yap Port Authority

The outcomes of the two-day deliberation were Expressions of Intent outlining the current status and next steps to be taken in the transformation process for those enterprises as discussed by each of the delegations. The Expressions of Intent will also be the basis for seeking further donor technical support for the PSE reform process.

Continuing to actively support this process will be the Public Sector Enterprise Unit now located in the Department of Economic Affairs. The support will include technical assistance in the form of financial data gathering and analysis, and overall facilitation of the steps necessary to properly reform each of the selected public sector enterprises.

Copies of the communiqué and the Expressions of Intent developed at the workshop will be transmitted to the President and Speaker of the FSM Congress, each of the State Governors, and the presiding officers of the State Legislatures.

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