The United States has expressed keen interest in expediting Compact negotiations with Palau, reported Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr after his visit to Washington DC earlier this month.
President Whipps met with nine U.S congressmen and the U.S Special Presidential Envoy Joseph Yun for Compact Negotiations.
“We were there to thank them and to let them know that we will not accept the previous offer,” expressed President Whipps of his meeting with U.S congressmen. Whipps clarified that an earlier amount of US$400 million reportedly offered by the United States was not acceptable.
He said that he wanted to open the discussion to wider negotiation, one that is “generous and comprehensive…and on our own terms.”
Whipps said that he was encouraged that they were understanding of the challenges faced by Palau and are willing to sit, listen and work with us.
His meetings with U.S congressmen, he said, were very important.
“Ultimately the compact will come before them. It is important that they know Palau and the challenges we face,” said Whipps.
He said the United States is keen to come to the negotiating table and as soon as Palau’s Compact Advisory team led by Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr puts a package together, they can come together quickly “to ensure the country reaches its economic objectives.”