On June 4, 2009, President Johnson Toribiong met in Palau with a delegation of officials from the Government of the United States of America to consider the problem of the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
President Toribiong, in consultation with his Ministers, the Leadership of the Palau National Congress, and Palau Paramount Chiefs Ibedul and Reklai, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Palau agreed to accommodate the United States of America’s request to temporarily resettle in Palau up to seventeen ethnic Uyghur detainees presently being held a the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, subject to periodic review.
These detainees have been approved for release from incarceration because a final determination has been made that they are not enemy combatants.
Palau’s accommodation to accept the temporary resettlement of these detainees is a humanitarian gesture intended to help them be freed from any further unnecessary incarceration and to restart their lives anew in as normal a fashion as possible.
Palau’s decision is consistent with its age old cultural tradition of accommodating and helping people in need, as explained by Palau’s two traditional Paramount Chiefs, and is a recognition of Palau’s long standing and strong relationship with the United States.
President Toribiong said, “I am honored and proud that the United States has asked Palau to assist with such a critical task. This is but a small thing that we can do to thank our best friend and ally for all it has done for Palau,”
President Toribiong has authorized Minister of State Sandra S. Pierantozzi , Minister of Health Dr. Stevenson J. Kuartei, and President of Palau Community College Dr. Patrick Tellei, accompanied by support staff, to travel to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to review the situation, verify the status of the detainees, and report back to him. - June 6, Ministry of State Press Release
US Officials: Palau to receive $200M in return for accepting ressettlement of Chinese Uighurs incarcerated in Guantanamo. More here.
Palau Horizon: President Toribiong said decision nothing to do with Compact's financial provisions, which Palau wants extended...was made in consultation with the community. More here.