US WELCOMES EARLY COMPACT DISCUSSIONS WITH PALAU

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, May 23) – The United States has no objection to Palau’s request of an early negotiation of the Compact of Free Association.

President Remengsau told reporters here said that U.S. authorities during the meeting in Washington D.C. for the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders did not object to Palau’s request to begin the review process of the Compact this year.

" We got support and praise for an early review process," Remengesau said.

He said that in July state department officials will begin discussion of the Compact review.

The president earlier requested United States President George W. Bush to begin the review process of the Compact so that Palau can present it to the people in a referendum in Nov. 2008.

The financial package of the Compact will lapse on 2009, the review process is now being conducted by Palau.

The president said even members of the U.S. Congress are very receptive about the request vowing to also start an early congressional review of the details of Palau’s Compact.

Remengesau and members of the Compact Review Commission of Palau were also in Washington D.C. for the annual joint meeting.

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