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President Mori makes plea for $33 million

HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, July 16, 2009) – Radio Australia reports that the Federated States of Micronesia is seeking US$33 million from donor nations to expand a fiber optic cable project to all four states.

The FSM, which operates on funds provided through a compact agreement with the United States, includes the island groups of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae.

According to Radio Australia, the U.S. Military is currently laying a cable to connect Pohnpei with Guam and Kwajalein. But FSM President Emmanuel Mori wants to capitalize on the presence of cable vessels to expand service to the remaining three federated states.

"Once these ships leave the area, the cost to remobilise these vessels' personnel be enormous would become about tens of millions of dollars for mobilisation costs alone," Mori told RA.

The president said in addition to improving commerce and communication, the improved telecommunications would help save lives by allowing emergency medical procedures directed from afar via telemedicine.

Mori said he hopes the U.S., Japan or some other wealthy nation will help the fledgling country with loans and grants.

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