US delegation visits Kwajalein and Ebeye atolls

Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs; Gen. CQ Brown Jr., U.S. Air Force, commander, Pacific Air Forces; Indo-Pacific Command; Republic of the Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine; and RMI Foreign Minister John M. Silk. (Contributed Photo)

PALAU—A U.S. delegation from Washington, D.C. met yesterday with Republic of the Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine while on travel in the Republic of Palau.

Led by Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior assistant secretary, Insular and International Affairs, the group included U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official who visited Chuuk to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Hailstone in the Pacific, visited President Tommy Remengesau in Palau, and concluded their trip to the Pacific on Kwajalein and Ebeye Atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

While meeting with Heine, Domenech and other members of the U.S. delegation had the opportunity to discuss various issues of mutual importance.

Domenech also presented Heine with $1,178,148 in grant funding to support the Four Atoll Healthcare program. In December 2018, Domenech provided an initial amount of $392,716 for fiscal year 2019. The current grant represents the remaining funds for fiscal year 2019.

“We are proud of the history and cherish the relationships that Interior has had with the people of the Marshall Islands as part of the overall U.S.-RMI relationship,” said A Domenech of their trip. “Through the Compact of Free Association partnership, we have improved and built schools, hospitals, utilities, and numerous other programs throughout the Marshall Islands. We are strong partners through the U.S.-RMI Joint Economic Management and Fiscal Accountability Committee and we continue to have fruitful collaboration for the future through the Compact Trust Fund for the People of the Marshall Islands.”

The U.S. delegation concluded their trip to the three Freely Associated States—the three Pacific Island nations with whom the U.S. shares important relationships under the Compacts of Free Association, with a final stop to Kwajalein and Ebeye atolls.

The principals of the U.S. delegation were met in the Marshall Islands by U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Karen Stewart and Marshall Islands Ambassador to the U.S. Gerald Zackios.

Aside from Domenech, the other members of the delegation were Gen. CQ Brown Jr., U.S. Air Force, commander, Pacific Air Forces; Indo-Pacific Command; Nick Dean, director, East Asia Pacific Bureau, State Department; Alexander Gray, director for Oceania, National Security Council; and Nikolao Pula, director, Office of Insular Affairs, Department of the Interior. (PR)

Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, presents Republic of the Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine with grant funding to support the Four Atoll Healthcare program. (Contributed Photo)

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