US and FSM sign maritime boundary agreement


KOROR, Palau—The United States and the Federated States of Micronesia signed yesterday a boundary treaty delimiting the waters between their two countries. The boundary treaty was signed on behalf of the United States by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dennise Mathieu and, for the FSM, by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert. The treaty was signed in Koror, Palau, at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

During the signing ceremony, Mathieu said, “Maritime boundaries promote good order at sea, and peaceful relations between countries. But a boundary is also symbolic, and this boundary treaty reflects the important bonds of friendship between our two countries and the close relations between the people of the United States of America and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia.”

Mathieu added, “Working with FSM on this important endeavor was truly a pleasure for the U.S. team. The U.S. would like to extend its appreciation to the Federated States of Micronesia for the spirit of collaboration that guided the negotiation teams to this successful conclusion.”

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Robert remarked that the signing was “very important and timely given the theme of this year’s forum—Ocean: life and future. With a well-defined boundary between the U.S. Territory of Guam and the FSM now in place, today’s occasion only confirms and strengthens the obvious. The obvious being the Micronesian tradition that we are peoples of the seas; we take pride in the stewardship and benefit from the bounties of the ocean.”

The treaty is a significant accomplishment for both countries and reflects the collaborative spirit and friendly relations between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The treaty concludes a boundary that will divide the maritime space between the U.S. territory of Guam and the Caroline Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. The treaty, with appropriate technical adjustments, formalizes a boundary that had been informally adhered to by the two countries previously on the basis of the principle of equidistance, such that the line is equal in distance from each country. The boundary is 828 kilometers (447 nautical miles) in length.

This is the second treaty to delimit a maritime boundary that the United States has signed since last year and demonstrates the United States’ growing effort to address unsettled maritime boundaries with its neighbors. The United States and Kiribati signed a maritime boundary treaty in 2013 at the Pacific Island Forum meeting in Majuro.

The treaty will enter into force upon ratification by both countries. For the United States, ratification is subject to the advice and consent of the United States Senate. (U.S. Embassy)

Press Release
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