FSM DFA (February 28, 2014): The Maritime Security Cooperation (MSC) Talks were held on Monday, 24 February 2014, between the Federated States of Micronesia and Australia at the Foreign Affairs conference room in Palikir. The FSM delegation was headed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert, who welcomed the Australian delegation led by the Ambassador, His Excellency Terence Beven. The Australian delegation included Mr. Stephen Broadbent, Director of New Zealand and Pacific International Policy Division, Defense Advisor of South West Pacific LTCOL Richard Watson, Policy Officer for Micronesia Ms. Emily Rossetti, Third Secretary and Vice Counsel Mr. Nikola Pejik of the Australian Embassy, Maritime Surveillance Adviser LCDR Timochi Koroi, and the Maritime Technical Adviser CPO Andrew Hamilton. From the FSM side, Secretary Robert was joined by the Acting Secretary of Justice Mr. Leonito Bacalando Jr., and members of the National Police and Maritime Wing and representatives from the Department of Transportation, Communications, and Infrastructure.
In welcoming the MSC participants, Secretary Robert thanked Australia for its ongoing commitment to the FSM and, in particular, for the Pacific Patrol Boat program. He further highlighted that the patrol boats remain an extremely valuable assets to the nation. Secretary Robert stated that “we cannot overemphasize its importance and its utility not only in ensuring maritime surveillance and law enforcement but also in addressing emergency relief operations, apprehending and preventing sea-borne security threats and delivering needed government services to outlying remote islands in the federation”. In this connection, Secretary thanked the continued technical and financial assistance that Australia provides on an annual basis and those who are behind the scenes working hard to ensure that the whole program runs effectively and efficiently.
Ambassador Beven, in his remarks, noted “how much pride both countries have in our Maritime Security Cooperation” amongst others, followed by additional comments from Director Broadbent, who welcomed FSM’s commitment to cooperative patrols with neighboring countries. Director Broadbet expressed appreciation for the recent participation of the FSS Independence in the International Fleet Review in Sydney and emphasized Australia’s long-term commitment to regional maritime security through the Pacific Patrol Boat program and its replacement, the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
The dialogue ended with success and a clear direction on what to achieve for 2014 and the long-term plan for the Patrol Boats. Before the meeting was adjourned, Secretary Robert extended an invitation to all the participants to a cocktail reception hosted in honor of another successful MSC.
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