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President Simina Finalizes Renewed COFA Agreements at the U.S. State Department

FSM Office of the President
March 18, 2024

Washington, D.C.: In a ceremony held in the U.S. State Department Treaty Room, H.E. President Wesley W. Simina exchanged diplomatic notes with the Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, formally bringing into force the renewed Compact of Free Association.

The ceremony followed a productive meeting with Deputy Secretary Campbell and senior officials of the State Department, including U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia Jennifer Johnson. President Simina and Deputy Secretary Campbell discussed an array of issues of mutual importance, particularly regarding matters related to the new COFA agreements.

President Simina highlighted the need for close collaboration in implementing the expanded benefits for the people of the FSM under the new Compact, such as in the areas of veterans’ affairs and education. President Simina also shared that he had convened a meeting with the governors of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap immediately following the passage of the COFA, and reported that all four states stand ready to do their part to ensure a smooth transition to implementation.

Deputy Secretary Campbell (left) and President Simina (right) pose for a photo after the exchange of notes. Photo: FSM PIO.

President Simina also discussed his administration’s desire to enhance cooperation for capacity building in areas such as law enforcement cooperation through the FBI Academy, educational opportunities through the military academies, educational opportunities through fellowships from the White House, and diplomatic training through the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

Other areas of potential cooperation that President Simina and Deputy Secretary Campbell discussed included the possible return of the Peace Corps to the FSM and addressing the environmental effects of shipwrecks in Chuuk’s lagoon.

Deputy Secretary Campbell emphasized the vitality of the U.S. relationship with the FSM, pointing out that despite the delays in Washington, “the one thing that has gone through is the COFA agreement.” The Deputy Secretary went on to underscore that the State Department is prioritizing support for “these critical relationships in the Pacific.”

During the ceremony to exchange diplomatic notes, President Simina stated, “It’s an honor to stand here today as we mark a pivotal moment in the history of our two nations. With today’s exchange of notes, we formally embark on a new and even closer chapter of our relationship under the Compact of Free Association.” He continued, “Our teams have worked tirelessly for over four years, crafting a set of landmark agreements that advance the interests of both our countries. This is a major achievement about which we can all be proud.”

In closing President Simina added “I would like to thank each and every one of you for being here to witness this special moment with us. This indeed is a historic day for the enduring partnership between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States. We look forward to the next 20 years, and beyond.”