FSM President receives US envoy and embassy staff | News

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (WSF Information Services) — On June 4, 2021, David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, received Carmen G. Cantor, United States Ambassador to the FSM, during a courtesy visit. Their in-depth discussions covered a range of topics, from FSM repatriation efforts and the recent Pacific Island Leaders Conference to economic and regional security issues, and the introduction of new US diplomatic personnel into the FSM.

President Panuelo began the meeting by thanking Ambassador Cantor, and by extension the U.S. government, to include in particular the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Coast Guard, for the full assistance of the America to FSM in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, including the first successful repatriation effort from a jurisdiction affected by Covid-19. “I really want to thank you,” said President Panuelo, “to you, to the [U.S. CDC]and to the Coast Guard, for making our May repatriation flight possible.

An important part of the meeting was devoted to the presentation to President Panuelo of several members of the new diplomatic staff of the FSM.

He met in person – previously virtually – with Deputy Chief of Mission Kristin Westphal, who will assist the FSM on a wide range of issues of mutual interest and benefit.

Panuelo also met Frank Talluto, the economic/consular officer, from whom the FSM can expect expert advice on the economic concerns of the federation.

Panuelo also met with Andrew Posner, the Head of Public Affairs, whose WSF can expect to amplify the enduring WSF-US partnership to citizens of the FSM and across the region.

The President also met with Rodger Garner of the United States Agency for International Development. Garner’s presence in the WSF represents an important achievement for one of the goals of the Panuelo-George administration.

On November 21, 2019, President Panuelo met with Sean Callahan, Deputy Mission Director for USAID based in the Philippines. The meeting itself was the result of the WSF’s explicit request for USAID’s permanent physical presence in the federation.

President Panuelo requested USAID’s presence in the WSF to help ensure that the development agency, with eyes on the ground, can more directly assist the WSF’s donor coordination and health response goals. , as well as climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience efforts.

President Panuelo also noted at the time the FSM’s interest in USAID support for the education sector, whether in the form of long-term aspirations, such as the proposed resurrection of the Pohnpei Agricultural and Commercial School as a regional vocational education hub, and/or as complementary support for contemporary primary and secondary school programming in FSM public schools.

Finally, President Panuelo met with Cmdr. Thomas Price, who is the Defense Attaché of the United States Embassy. Under Title III of the Covenant of Free Association, as amended, the FSM national government delegates some of its defense responsibilities, if any, to the United States Armed Forces. Thus, the Defense Attaché, as an office, and Commander Price, as a person, are responsible for assisting in the security of the FSM.

“Ambassador,” President Panuelo told the US envoy, “I’m so glad your office is populated. Our lasting partnership with our first and foremost ally is close to our hearts, so it is essential that our fellow citizens see you here to contribute to our development.

The remainder of the meeting covered a wide range of items of mutual interest and interest, such as tentative plans for the next Joint Committee meeting and the outcomes of the recent Pacific Island Leaders Conference.