PALAU TO REOPEN CONSULATE ON SAIPAN

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Supplemental budget appropriation approved

By Haidee V. Eugenio SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 6, 2010) –Palau Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism Harry R. Fritz said the Palau Consulate on Saipan will reopen this year, and at a new location.

Fritz said the consulate may now be located in Garapan near the Commonwealth Health Center, and no longer at its former location in Susupe.

Fritz, who was here during the June 23 to 25 13th Micronesian Chief Executives Summit, said the Palau government needs some $50,000 a year to operate a consulate. He said there's funding already set aside for the consulate's reopening.

In January, Palau President Johnson Toribiong said he will reopen "as soon as possible" the Palau consular offices on Saipan and Guam to be funded under a supplemental Fiscal Year 2010 budget as a result of fresh infusion of direct financial assistance from the United States to the Pacific country.

The Palau Consulates on Saipan and Guam closed on Dec. 31 due to funding constraints.

He said he also received letters from Palauans on Saipan and Guam, urging him to do the best he can to reopen both offices.

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