FAS leaders endorse Guam participation in COFA talks

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, center, met with Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular and International Affairs Douglas Domenech, 2nd from right, to discuss various Guam issues. Also in photo are , from left, Chief of Staff Tony Babauta, OIA Guam Desk Officer Dwayne Peterson, and far right, OIA Director of Policy Basil Ottley. (Adelup photo)

Guam is closer to being a participant in the Compact of Free Association (COFA) renegotiation talks with the endorsement given by regional leaders.

In an interview with Patti Arroyo on NewsTalk K57, the governor said she has written U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting for Guam to have a place in the table of the current COFA renegotiations.

The governor said all the leaders of the Freely Associated States are endorsing Guam’s participation in the COFA negotiations.

According to the governor, FSM president Manuel Panuelo, who stopped by on Guam recently and whose inauguration was attended by the governor, is supporting Guam’s participation in the COFA talks.

The same is true with all the FAS leaders that the governor met during the recent Micronesian forum.

“None of them are objecting to Guam’s participation,” the governor said.

She added that CNMI governor Ralph Torres has also indicated that he wants to be present during the COFA talks.

According to the governor, she met with Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech during his visit to Guam.

During the meeting, the governor said she informed Domenech of Guam’s interest in the “listening session” that the U.S. Department of State will be undertaking within the region starting next month.