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US Signs Pact with Micronesia and PNG

The United States is set to sign pacts with Micronesia and Papua New Guinea next week. 

The pacts are to be signed on May 22 in Papua New Guinea. President Joe Biden will become the first sitting president to visit the country. 

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, James Marape, confirmed his visit and the terms of the pacts however, he also stated there is more to be revealed and negotiations are still ongoing. 

“These signings will add value to our domestic security, as well as strengthen our own military, our police, our navy,” Marape told the radio station, 100FM

In an attempt to counter China, the renewed agreement seeks short support among the Pacific Islands. Chinese mining and construction companies have made their way into the region and diplomats have been surveying the area for more potential expansion efforts.

US President Envoy, Joseph Yun, announced that the Compact of Free Association (COFA) agreement was set to expire this year. Two new security agreements were reached regarding maritime surveillance and defense cooperation. 

“At the moment in our waters, especially in our 200km waters, we have illegal fishing, we have illegal transportation, we have drug cartels … we want to ensure our country is secure from illegal activities,” Marape told the radio station, 100FM.

COFA was first introduced in the 1980s and Micronesia was one of the original three countries part of the agreement. As a part of this agreement, the United States takes responsibility for their defense while also providing economic assistance and in turn, they gain strategic sections of the Pacific. 

“The USA has been a strong security partner of us, but silent, almost deep at the back. Now for the first time now they are stepping out, coming to the front, engaging with PNG like never before,” Marape told the radio station, 100FM.

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