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Public Papers - 1989

Statement on Signing a Bill Approving Diplomatic Relations Agreements With the Marshall Islands and Micronesia

1989-07-26

I take great pleasure in signing into law H.R. 2214, which approves diplomatic relations agreements with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Since 1986, these countries have been our partners in free association. Our ties to them go back to the last world war when American forces liberated their islands in some of the bloodiest fighting of the Pacific campaign. We administered the islands as part of a United Nations trusteeship until late 1986.

Under the agreements now approved, our current representative offices in Majuro, the Marshall Islands, and in Kolonia, Micronesia, will become full-fledged embassies with resident American ambassadors. The same welcome transformation will occur here in Washington, and our diplomatic community will be enlarged by the addition of ambassadors from the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. This change will portray accurately the nature of our relationship with these countries under the Compact of Free Association, the treaty linking our nations in a special partnership.

I would like to recognize the contributions of all those who labored to negotiate and conclude these two agreements. The one person who deserves special mention is Representative Bob Lagomarsino of California, who introduced this bill into the House and who has been a tireless supporter of the American position in the Pacific. I will also pay tribute to Their Excellencies Wilfred Kendall of the Marshall Islands and Jesse Marehalau of Micronesia. With the entry into force of the agreements, let me be the first to address them as Ambassador Kendall and Ambassador Marehalau.

George Bush

The White House,

July 26, 1989.

Note: H.R. 2214, approved July 26, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 62. The statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 27.

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