Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations

Vice President Alik Alik Strengthens "Triangular Relationship" in Recent Meeting with American Jewish Committee Officials in New York

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Permanent Mission to the United Nations): October 19, 2010 - Meeting with principal officials of the American Jewish Committee has become an integral part of the program for the FSM delegation to the annual high-level gathering of the UN General Assembly. This tradition took place again on September 24, 2010, when Vice President Alik L Alik, who headed the FSM Delegation to the 65th UNGA, met with representatives of the AJC, headed by Mr Peter R Rosenblatt, who was the chief US negotiator of the original Compact during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

The AJC is a worldwide organization that maintains its headquarters in New York City, with a key office in Washington DC focusing on the Committee's government relations and international activities. It emerged in the early 1900s initially as a response to bigotry aimed at Russian Jews. It continues to be an advocacy organization and a think-tank committed to supporting the State of Israel and combating anti-Semitism by promoting pluralism and democratic values, among others.

The American Jewish Committee has been a lead player in promoting relations between the FSM and the State of Israel, with the US as the base of operation, leading to what has been described as a "triangular relationship." Israel was the first country in the Middle East region to extend diplomatic relations to the FSM.

In the meeting with the FSM Delegation to the 65th UNGA headed by Vice President Alik, Ambassador Rosenblatt, on behalf of the AJC Board of Directors, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the FSM Government's unswerving support to Israel particularly in the context of the UN System and other multilateral forum, noting the groundswell of gratitude of the people and leaders of Israel. "This is not a one-way street," Rosenblatt described the relationship between the FSM and Israel, asking for suggestions as to how the AJC might help further deepening the triangular relationship.

The AJC has extended humanitarian assistance to the FSM in previous years and was instrumental in facilitating the recent donation of medicines to the FSM from an Israeli pharmecutical company. It also assisted in the acquisition of two dialysis machines from the Israeli Government.

Vice President Alik, who previously served as FSM non-resident Ambassador to Israel, took the opportunity to convey gratitude to the officials for the support that the AJC has extended to the FSM people and its pivotal role in strengthening the triangular relationship. The Vice President also took the opportunity to brief the AJC officials on major developments in the FSM.

He pointed out that the US review of the first five years of the Amended Compact is a major foreign policy undertaking that is of fundamental interest to the FSM Government. It was explained that while the review is an internal process for the US called for by the Compact, as amended, the US Government will provide the opportunity to the FSM Government to make its views or comments available. The bulk of the work on the FSM side is carried out by the Compact Review Committee whose members and key staff have held several meetings and also consulting with the leadership of the state governments.

Apart from the 5-Year Compact Review, collaborative development and strengthening of the FSM's private sector is another area that could further expand and deepen the triangular relationship. The Vice President summarized the actions that the FSM has pursued with respect to reforming its tax system and streamlining its foreign business permit application process. Serving also as chairman of the task force on tax reform, Vice President Alik noted that the undertaking is not without challenges.

The members of the FSM Delegation highlighted the broader context in which assistance for the dialysis units was sought from the Government of Israel. This was an attempt to address the FSM's increasing overseas medical referrals, loss of eligibility for Medicaid for the FSM citizens residing in the US, and particularly the reduction of medical services for the FSM patients in Hawaii particularly to those on chemotherapy and kidney treatment.

In reiterating his appreciation, Ambassador Rosenblatt expressed his satisfaction with the update on the development in the FSM. He encouraged ongoing dialogue with the AJC.

Vice President Alik was joined in the meeting with the AJC by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S Robert, FSM Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Masao Nakayama, and James A Naich, Charge d'Affaires ai/DCM of the FSM Embassy in Washington DC.