(as prepared for delivery)
Thank you Foreign Minister Wu for your remarks and your very kind welcome.
I would also like to thank my good friend Director Christensen for his welcome and acknowledge the great work of AIT.
It is a special privilege to be part of the delegation of President of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr. to visit Taiwan to commemorate the start of the travel bubble between Taipei and Koror on April 1.
I believe this will be the first two-way travel bubble in the Indo-Pacific since the onset of the global COVID pandemic – which gives people the opportunity to travel safely again in the future.
Taiwan and Palau’s respective achievements in regards to public health and keeping their people safe from the global COVID pandemic are remarkable and are a model globally. Their Doctors and Nurses deserve great praise for their service to their communities.
The United States has worked closely with the government of Palau and its Ministry of Health for many years, most recently in response to the COVID pandemic.
U.S. technical assistance and the ongoing support regarding the supply of vaccines has helped keep Palau COVID safe.
Taiwan has long partnered with Palau in providing vital medical assistance and related support.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Palau there has been no higher priority than working with our partners and friends, in Palau and across the Pacific, to help keep people safe and to give people hope after a difficult 12 months due to the virus.
I congratulate Taiwan and Palau on the launch of the sterile corridor and am confident this will further strengthen their close relationship and lead to greater people to people ties between two friends of the United States.
Lastly, I look forward to discussing other opportunities for cooperation between Taiwan, Palau and the U.S. in the future. I know people often describe the U.S.-Taiwan partnership as “Real Friends, Real Progress” and I think that description could aptly be applied to the cooperation between the United States, Taiwan, and Palau as well.