(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) US President Joe Biden's administration is seeking more than $7
billion over the next two decades for economic assistance to three
Pacific island countries, a State Department official said on
Thursday, trend reports citing reuters .
Washington said earlier this year it had reached consensus with
the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia
(FSM) on terms of U.S. economic assistance in talks to renew
Compacts of Free Association, or COFAs, but had not provided
Under those pacts, first agreed in the 1980s, the United States
retains responsibility for the islands' defense and exclusive
access to huge swaths of the Pacific. Current COFA provisions
expire in 2024 for Palau, and later in 2023 for the Marshall
Islands and the FSM.
Jane Bocklage, a senior State Department official involved in
COFA talks, told a congressional hearing the Biden administration's
fiscal year 2024 budget request included $7.1 billion over 20 years
for extended COFA deals. That included $6.5 billion in direct
economic assistance and $634 million for the unfunded costs of
extending the U.S. Postal Service in the three island countries,
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