12 Aug 2003

Northern Marianas and Guam sign white paper for increased presence of US military

4:44 pm on 12 August 2003

Northern Marianas' governor Juan N. Babauta and Guam Governor Felix Camacho have signed a "white paper" that affirmed the Marianas region's support for US military presence in the Pacific.

The paper, signed in Guam on Friday, also outlined the role both countries could play should the military increase its presence in the region.

In a letter to Governor Babauta, Governor Camacho says that with the changing geopolitical climates in Asia, it's clear that Guam and Saipan's positions and strategic importance to the military will continue.

Governor Camacho says both countries should stand together in helping others recognise the importance of the military to our economies and in promoting the islands to military decision makers.

He points out that visiting military personnel individually spend hundreds of dollars a day and collectively contribute nearly 1 million US dollars to the local economies each day they are in port.

Governor Camacho says that federal employees working on Guam and the Northern Marianas turn over 50 million US dollars annually to both local governments from the income taxes they pay.