I will visit Palau on December 2 to 4 to advance our two countries’ strong and growing relationship, and our shared support for an open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
During the visit, I will meet with President Surangel Whipps Jr, Vice President and Minister of Justice Uduch Sengebau Senior, Minister of State Gustav Aitaro and other leaders to discuss the Pacific Step-up, and our wide-ranging partnership.
I will also formally open Australia’s Embassy in Palau, in a further demonstration of Australia’s expanding diplomatic presence in the Pacific.
Under the Pacific Step-up, we are working more closely with Palau and other Pacific partners to address regional challenges, including the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, maritime security, and climate change.
We share strong interests in protecting our oceans and deepening cooperation under Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, which included the handover of a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat, the PSS Remeliik II, to Palau last year.
I will participate in a ceremony to break the ground for a landing station for the island’s second internet cable, jointly funded by Australia, Palau, Japan, and the United States, which will strengthen vital digital connectivity in the region and support economic growth and improved service delivery.
I also look forward to meeting with women leaders to discuss the Pacific Women Lead program and other opportunities for promoting women’s empowerment.
My visit builds upon my recent in-person visits to partners in the Indo-Pacific region and substantive virtual engagements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.