Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today, congratulated the people of the Republic of Palau on their Independence Day this Friday.
Palau is an island nation east of the Philippines and north of Indonesia. Palau has the oldest known burial ceremony in Oceania. Inhabitants appear to originate from Polynesia and Asia, possibly somewhere between 2500 BC and 1000 BC, but skeletal remains of small-bodied humans may invalidate that date range.
The US and Palau have what Secretary Clinton called a “close and cooperative relationship enshrined in our Compact of Free Association.”
The US administered the islands for many years after 1947, but Palau is now independednt, but freely associates with the US. The two countries work together on issues of mutual interest, from fostering economic growth and ensuring regional security, to combating climate change and protecting the environment.
As we join in celebrating your independence and the bonds of friendship between our nations, I offer my warmest wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year to come.
– Secretary Clinton