U.S. to open embassies in Tonga, other Pacific island countries – Official

Wed, May 3, 2023
By editor
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Africa

THE U.S. would open an embassy in Tonga later this month, with more embassies expected to be established in other Pacific island countries including Kiribati and Vanuatu.

A senior State Department official made this known late Tuesday.

Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on the current administration’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

The budget requirement would be of help to Washington’s expanded diplomatic presence across the Indo-Pacific, including a new Embassy in the Solomon Islands and planning for new embassies in Kiribati, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

The administration’s FY 2024 budget request for the East Asian and Pacific region included a diplomatic engagement budget of 533 million U.S. dollars and a foreign assistance budget of 1.36 billion dollars.

This as well as two billion dollars to support the U.S. “Indo-Pacific Strategy’’, Kritenbrink told the senators.

The U.S. officially announced the opening of its embassy in the Solomon Islands on Feb. 2. (Xinhua/NAN) 

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