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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Secretary Kempthorne welcomes Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President, Emanuel “Manny” Mori to the U.S. Department of the Interior



Ambassador Hughes, Acting DAS Pula, Secretary Kempthorne, President Mori, SBOC Director Fabian Nimea, Deputy Director

Washington, D.C. (February 5, 2008) – On his first personal trip to Washington, D.C. as FSM President, H.E. Emanuel Mori paid a courtesy call on Secretary Kempthorne. Both Secretary Kempthorne and President Mori were delighted to meet again. They met last year in June 2007, when Secretary Kempthorne visited President Mori in Palikir, Pohnpei, on his trip to the Pacific U.S. Insular Areas.

Secretary Kempthorne thanked President Mori for the FSM's patriotism and partnership with the U.S. in the War on Terror. The rate of enlistment into the U.S. Armed Forces for people from the FSM and other U.S.-affiliated insular areas is much higher per capita than for the U.S. mainland. President Mori has a daughter currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. The Secretary also thanked and commended Mori for his courage in beginning implementation of much needed government reforms in the FSM.

Stovall, Joshua, Ilon, Nimea, Pula, Kempthorne, Mori, Hughes, McGann, Naich, Chigiyal, Domenech, Beffrey, Edgar

President Mori thanked Secretary Kempthorne for the United States’ continued support of the FSM and expressed his appreciation for the special relationship that exists between the two countries and his intent to strengthen that relationship during his administration.

Accompanying the President were Fabian Nimea, Director of FSM SBOC, Epel Ilon, Assistant Director of FSM SBOC, Jane Chigiyal, Assistant Secretary for American and European Affairs, James Naich, Deputy Chief of Mission for the FSM Embassy in D.C. and James T. Stovall, Counsel.  Present with the Secretary from Interior were Doug Domenech, Deputy Chief of Staff, Nikolao Pula, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, and OIA Staff.  Representing the State Department were Miriam Hughes, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, and Steve McGann, Director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

President Mori warms by the fire while Secretary looks on

The FSM is one of three independent countries that have a special relationship with the U.S. through the Compacts of Free Association. The other countries are the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau (ROP). Together, these three countries are often referred to as the Freely Associated States (FAS). Under the Compacts, citizens of the FAS can travel freely to live and work in the U.S. without a visa and can enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. The FAS also receive financial assistance under the Compacts. The Secretary of the Interior, through the Office of Insular Affairs, is the administrator of the financial assistance to the FSM. In return for the benefits FSM citizens enjoy under the compact, the U.S. has defense rights in the FSM. The freely associated states are formerly part of the U.N. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under U.S. administration.

President Mori is in Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual National Prayer Breakfast events on February 6.

Secretary Kempthorne shows map of the Pacific