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By Bernadette H. Carreon For Variety

KOROR, Palau (July 16, 2002 - Palau Horizon)---The new United States ambassador to Palau, Francis Ricciardone, has presented his credentials to President Tommy Remengesau.

During Ricciardone’s visit, the president requested U.S. assistance for the completion of the Palau Compact Road as well as for Palau’s efforts to gain universal service benefits through the Federal Communications Commission.

Remengesau also sought the ambassador’s backing in requesting the U.S. Congress to appropriate funds for the Prior Service Trust Fund.

Remengesau said he will work with Ricciardone to secure U.S. landing rights for future domestic carriers and more U.S. Navy port calls.

In exchange, Palau pledges its support to the U.S.

"While the Republic of Palau does not have the economic capacity to provide economic assistance to the U.S., we do offer our immediate, future and unconditional support to your political and strategic concerns throughout the world," Remengesau told Ricciardone.

He said Palau will also continue to support the U.S. through its commitments in the Compact of Free Association.

Ricciardone was one of the guest speakers in the 22nd Constitution Day celebration in Ngaraad.

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

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