Transcript

Remarks by Secretary Esper at an Honor Cordon Welcoming President of the Federated States of Micronesia Panuelo to the Pentagon

Oct. 11, 2019
Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper; President of the Federated States of Micronesia David Panuelo

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK T. ESPER:  Well, President Panuelo, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the Pentagon and to meet you for the first time.  Thank you very much for coming here today.

I understand you just arrived from a visit to INDOPACOM, and I hope you enjoyed your meeting with our personnel in Hawaii.

The security relationship between the United States and Micronesia continues to be very close, and I'm hopeful it will get even closer.

We are very proud, as you and I discussed, of the many Micronesian citizens who serve in the United States military, the highest per capita of anywhere else.  So this is remarkable.

Our partnership has strengthened maritime law enforcement in the Pacific.  And we also share similar priorities through the Compact of Free Association, which plays an important role in regional stability.  I look forward to discussing its renewal with you and hearing your perspectives on security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

So, President Panuelo, thank you again for being here today.  And I invite you to make any opening comments to the press, as well.

PRESIDENT OF MICRONESIA DAVID PANUELO:  Thank you.

Well, Secretary, first of all, congratulations.

I'm really proud of the relationship that we do have between our two countries.  As you know, the -- the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States have a longstanding strategic partnership that reflects the common values of our two countries, namely sovereignty, rule of law and, you know, regional security.

We're proud of that.  And we're proud that our citizens serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at the highest per capita.  And we're proud of the close ties -- you know, the alliance that we do enjoy between our two countries.  

And yes, we were just recently at the INDOPACOM.  And we appreciate very much the -- the security briefing that we do get.  And I requested that we get this kind of briefing at least twice a -- twice a year, so that we can understand regional security that we do continue to play.

And as I said, Micronesia is very proud to play a role in the -- role in keeping the INDOPACOM region secure for our global community.

SEC. ESPER:  Very good.  Well, thank you again, sir.  Welcome.

PRES. PANUELO:  Thank you, yes.

Q:  Mr. Secretary, do you plan on complying with the House subpoena for documents relating to Ukrainian military aid?

STAFF:  Well, folks, got to move, thank you.