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Palau to host in-person Micronesian leaders summit

A tourist boat at a wharf in Palau Photo: RNZI. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NGERULMUD, Sep 14, 2020, RNZ. Palau President Tommy Remengesau has confirmed his country will host an in-person meeting among the leaders of Kiribati, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, Radio New Zealand reported.

Mr Remengesau said while details of the planned Micronesian Presidents’ Summit were still being ironed out, the leaders were aiming to meet in October.

Nauru’s President Lionel Aingimea said the other leaders agreed to a proposal from Palau to attend the Independence Day celebrations on 1 October and use the occasion to also convene a special leaders meeting.

A request had been made for Nauru Airlines to run a service across the five island countries to ‘pick up’ delegates for the meeting in Palau,

President Aingimea said Remengesau highlighted the importance of the face-to -face meeting.

“In the words of Palau President Thomas Remengesau Jr, hosting the MPS either in Palau or Nauru, we still have the message of solidarity of the Micronesian group.

“We can also showcase that economy is important but also the health of our people is important,” Aingimea said.

The Micronesian group of islands remains free of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Micronesian states recently re-affirmed their backing for the Marshall Islands’ ambassador to the US, Gerald Zackios, to become the new secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Zackios is up against Tonga’s candidate Amelia Kinahoi-Siamomua, who is head of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Gender section in London; as well as the outgoing Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna; former Pacific Community head Dr Jimmie Rodgers from Solomon Islands and former Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

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