December 6, 2022

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands David Kabua, President of the Federated States of Micronesia David Panuelo, and President of Palau Surangel Whipps Jr. Before their Meeting – United States Department of State

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Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Washington, D.C.

Benjamin Franklin Room

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to be with the three presidents of the Freely Associated States, to have them here at the State Department, to reflect on the rich, deep history that binds us together, starting with our profound people-to-people connections.  The Compacts of Free Association are one hallmark of the relationship, and we’re committed to successfully completing negotiations on a compact, but we’re also here to talk about the incredible breadth and depth of the relationship and partnership that we have.  I very much look forward to the conversation this afternoon, and I’m so delighted to have all three of you here in Washington.

Mr. President.

PRESIDENT KABUA:  Thank you very much.  Excellent statement by the – our lead – our speaker here, Mr. Blinken, so thank you very much.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.

Mr. President.

PRESIDENT PANUELO:  Secretary Blinken, it’s such a pleasure to be here in Washington, D.C.  Compact of Free Association, we are family to the United States, and we are very deeply appreciative of this first-ever U.S.-Pacific summit, first ever, and we thank you and President Biden for welcoming us to Washington, D.C.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.

President Whipps.

PRESIDENT WHIPPS:  Thank you, Secretary Blinken, for having us here this afternoon and of course for President Biden inviting the Pacific leaders here to Washington.  It’s really an honor to be here and I think a great demonstration of the strong partnership and friendship that we have among the Pacific nations and especially among the Freely Associated States, which are a special relationship with the United States and, as the Defense Department says, part of the homeland.

PRESIDENT PANUELO:  Part of the homeland.

PRESIDENT WHIPPS:  And we’re glad to be here and be able to talk to you today.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much, gentlemen.  Thank you.  Mr. President, thank you.

PRESIDENT WHIPPS:  Thank you.

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