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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, August 1) – A delegation from American Samoa will meet with Palau leaders to discuss the benefits of this Pacific island nation’s Compact of Free Association with the U.S.

President Tommy Remengesau said the American Samoa Legislature recently passed a measure establishing a status review commission because of the U.S. territory’s dissatisfaction with its political status.

The 17-member delegation from American Samoa will meet with Palau’s traditional and elected leaders and study the country’s relationship with the U.S. as a freely associated state.

The president said Palau’s relationship with the U.S. is unique and successful.

Freely associated states such as Palau, the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia are independent nations but receive U.S. government economic assistance and other benefits in exchange for American defense access.

Remengesau said the Compact provides Palau with independence and a strong partnership with the U.S.

American Samoa, which has been a U.S. possession since 1899, is a self-governing unincorporated and unorganized territory of the U.S.

[PIR editor’s note: After several years of refinement, a Compact of Free Association between Palau and the U.S. was finally signed in 1994. The agreement calls for financial assistance and military protection in exchange for rights to 1/3 of Palau’s public lands.]

August 1, 2006

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