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U.S. TO ‘TRY SOME NEW THINGS’ IN THE PACIFIC State Department official talks about Obama’s approach

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Mar 24, 2009) - United States top Pacific head expects nation’s "first Pacific President," Barack Obama, to ramp up diplomatic and development focus in the region. The United States acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Glyn Davies says President Obama’s emphasis on diplomacy and development presents a new approach to the Pacific region, Pacnews reports.

"I think we can see what President Obama has been saying from the transition through to the inaugural address and now as President, a number of signs of renewed emphasis on the importance of diplomacy and development," Mr. Davies said.

Davies said President Obama’s new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "has already talked about the importance of the three legged stool of our foreign policy- development, diplomacy and defense.

"Two of those, development and diplomacy, are very much under her authority in the state department and she means to do a great deal more in the development area.

"We’re reasonably confident that in the Pacific we’re going to be able to try some new things, with some new departures," Davies said.

According to Pacnews, Davies also said that the department was working very hard to ensure that President Obama’s policy direction on climate change and clean energy "is translated into further activities, perhaps even assistance within the Pacific Islands."

However Davies said that it was too soon to talk of "headline" policies in these areas as the administration had been in office less than two months.

Davies made the comments in an interview in Washington and the full story can be found in the April issue of the monthly magazine, Islands Business International.

Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected President of the United States, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1961.

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