Micronesia to sign extension of U.S. security pact 'soon', President says

FILE PHOTO: Micronesia's President David Panuelo addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 22, 2022. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado

TOKYO (Reuters) -Micronesia aims to 'soon' sign an extension of its economic and security pact with the United States, its President David Panuelo said on Friday, a deal seen as important in Washington's efforts to counter Chinese influence in the Pacific.

Micronesia is one of three Pacific Island states that has so-called compacts of free association with the United States, which allows Washington exclusive access to airspace and territorial waters in exchange for financial assistance.

"Our negotiation team actually will be in (Washington) D.C. soon where the two governments will likely be signing an MOU for the extension of the economic provisions for another 20 years," Panuelo told reporters on a visit to Tokyo.

(Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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