US Recognizes Cook Islands and Niue. Indo-pacific diplomacy

25.09.2023 posted by Admin

US establishes diplomatic ties with Cook islands and Niue

The United States is officially establishing diplomatic ties with two Pacific Island nations, the Cook Islands and Niue, marking the first time it has recognized them as independent states.

This recognition is part of President Joe Biden's efforts to bolster relationships in the Indo-Pacific region as a counterbalance to China's growing influence. The administration has been actively engaging with Pacific Island nations and recently hosted leaders from the Pacific Island Forum at the White House.

Niue, Biden expressed his pride in recognizing the sovereignty of the Cook Islands and Niue. He emphasized Niue's crucial role in the Pacific, supporting sustainable development, security, marine protection, and ocean conservation. He mentioned that this recognition would facilitate closer cooperation on various challenges, including addressing the climate crisis, safeguarding maritime borders and marine resources, promoting sustainable economic growth, and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Regarding the Cook Islands, Biden highlighted the opportunity to expand their enduring partnership. This expansion aims to tackle significant issues such as combatting illegal fishing, addressing climate change, fostering inclusive economic growth, and advancing the concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Biden also unveiled new infrastructure funding for Pacific Island partner nations and announced a $10 million investment through the Quad partnership to enhance maritime domain awareness in the Pacific. The Pacific Island Forum includes leaders from various nations in the region.

The summit meeting included discussions, a working lunch, a roundtable with the special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, and an evening dinner hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Biden emphasized the importance of working together to shape the future and build stronger partnerships.

The United States also plans to formally celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands and Niue during the reception. Additionally, the summit will witness the announcement of steps to provide secure undersea cable connectivity for Pacific Island nations, addressing internet speed and connectivity issues.

The Quad partnership, comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, will invest $10 million to enhance maritime domain awareness in the Pacific as China's actions in the region become increasingly assertive.

Biden highlighted US investment in the region, including $40 billion for infrastructure and connectivity, a new microfinance facility, and a $600 million agreement for sustainable development in Pacific Island fisheries. He also announced a new military partnership, with the US sending its first Coast Guard vessel dedicated to collaborating and training with Pacific Island nations.

Addressing concerns about climate change, Biden assured the leaders that the United States is committed to taking action and responding to rising sea levels. He acknowledged the existential threat this poses to Pacific Island nations and pledged support to ensure their statehood and UN membership in the face of the climate crisis.
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