President welcomes Kia’aina

President Casten Nemra gives visiting Interior Assistant Secretary Esther Kia’aina a Marshallese handicraft ‘obon’ after their meeting. Photo: Denise deBrum-Reiher.
President Casten Nemra gives visiting Interior Assistant Secretary Esther Kia’aina a Marshallese handicraft ‘obon’ after their meeting. Photo: Denise deBrum-Reiher.

President Casten Nemra welcomed US Assistant Secretary of Interior Esther Kia’aina, as he held the first Cabinet meeting of his Presidency at the Cabinet conference room late last week. Assistant Secretary Kia’aina congratulated President Nemra and members of his Cabinet and said her visit re-emphasizes the important relationship between the US and the RMI. She pledged full support and assistance on the new administration’s efforts in areas of mutual concern.

President Nemra expressed appreciation to Assistant Secretary Kia’aina for her kind words and said he values the historic and unique relationship between the two countries. While noting that these are critical times in the RMI-US relations, he expressed optimism and said he looked forward to building upon the close partnership between the two countries and an open dialogue on issues of national importance to seek reassurances of the future of the RMI people beyond 2023.

“2023 is around the corner and this administration needs to undertake immediate steps and sharper focus on Compact implementation and review,” said President Nemra. “The RMI remains committed to our continuing efforts to fully implement the Compact and advance our mutual interests.”

He emphasized that his first visit outside of the Pacific region will be to Washington, DC to renew acquaintances and friendship with officials in the US government and the leaders of Congress.

Other important matters discussed were on climate change and nuclear issues. President Nemra and members of the Cabinet are to meet with the Bikini Senator, Mayor, and members of the Bikini Atoll Local Council, to discuss the ongoing resettlement issue, including the recently introduced Congressional legislation to amend the Bikinians Resettlement and Relocation Trust Fund that would offer Bikinians the option of relocating outside the RMI.

Read more about this in the January 22, 2016 edition of the Journal.

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