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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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United States Commits To Repair Palau Compact Road



December 20, 2010
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Feng (202) 208-6974
Jennifer_Feng@ios.doi.gov

Koror, Palau – The U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta was joined by US Ambassador to the Republic of Palau, Helen Reed-Rowe, in announcing a commitment to fund the repair of damaged sections of the Palau Compact road. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the 14th Micronesian Chief Executives' Summit hosted by the Republic of Palau.

Joining regional leaders from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the state governors from Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, Palau President Johnson Toribiong issued a statement expressing his gratitude and appreciation for the close working relationship between the United States government and Palau. President Toribiong also thanked newly installed United States Ambassador to Palau, Helen Reed-Rowe for her leadership and commitment to forging a valuable and solidified partnership between both governments.

"The commitment the US makes today to repair the Palau Compact road reflects the ongoing friendship between Palau and the United States" said Assistant Secretary Babauta.  "Palau, along with the FSM and the RMI, are important allies to the United States in the Pacific.  US Ambassador Reed-Rowe and I have been working to respond to President Toribiong's request for assistance and we were pleased to be able to share this announcement with him at a time when Palau was hosting leaders from around the Pacific.  The repair and maintenance of the Palau Compact road is a priority for President Toribiong as it is the single largest infrastructure investment and will allow ease of travel for Palau's residents, as well as economic development on Babeldaob."

The US-Palau compact road is a 53- mile long road which encircles the island of Babeldaob, the largest of Palau's more than 300 islands. The construction of the road was completed in 2006 as part of the terms of the Compact of Free Association signed by Palau and the U.S. in 1994.  Several years later, portions of the road were damaged during heavy rain and flooding.