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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, Dec. 12) – The president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kessai Note, and his wife, Mrs. Mary Note, paid an official visit to the Baha'i World Centre on December 1, 2005. The president and first lady were welcomed by a member of the Universal House of Justice, Dr. Peter Khan, and his wife, Dr. Janet Khan. Also in the welcoming party were a counselor member of the International Teaching Center, Mr. Stephen Hall, and his wife, Mrs. Dicy Hall.

[PIR editor’s note: The Bahá’í World Center is located in the twin cities of ‘Akká and Haifa in northern Israel. Its International Teaching Center is an administrative body appointed on the basis of their spiritual knowledge and primarily act as advisors to the Universal House of Justice, according to Planet Baha’i.]

Among those in the presidential entourage were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, Mr. Gerald Zackios, and his wife Mrs. Zackios, and Bikini Atoll senator Tomaki Juda and Mrs. Juda.

At a reception in the seat of the Universal House of Justice, Dr. Khan discussed with President Note the history of the Baha'i community in the Marshall Islands and the contributions the Baha'is have made to development in that country.

President Note and his party then visited the Shrine of the Bab and its surrounding Terraces.

"I enjoyed the visit very much," said President Note.

It was the second visit to the Baha'i World Centre by a head of state of the Marshall Islands, the first being in 1990 by President Amata Kabua.

President Note was on state visit to Israel, said the deputy secretary-general of the Baha'i International Community, Murray Smith.

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR files, Marshall Islands President Kessai Hesa Note said his country wanted Israel's help in persuading the Americans to acknowledge culpability for the damaging long-term effects of nuclear weapons testing on the people of the Marshall Islands on his first State Visit to Israel (read related story).]

Mr. Smith said the visit came about at the suggestion of Mr. Zackios.

"Through his frequent contact with the representatives of the Baha'i community, the Foreign Minister, Gerald Zackios, was aware that the international headquarters of the Baha'i Faith, with its beautiful gardens, was located in Haifa and he encouraged the officials in the office of the President to request inclusion of the Baha'i World Centre in the itinerary," Mr. Smith said.

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Marshall Islands was established in 1977. There are currently 13 Local Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'i Faith in the country.

December 13, 2005


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