3 May 2002

Negotiations on funding for the Marshall Islands still stalled with both sides far apart

11:47 am on 3 May 2002

Marshall Islands and United States negotiators remain far apart on details of a new 20 year funding package expected to be initialled at the end of this month.

There have been no formal negotiating sessions since last December as the two sides trade counter proposals.

The Marshalls is seeking 68 million US dollars annually but the US has countered with an offer of just 31 point 8 million dollars.

Another counter offer is expected from the Marshalls possibly next week.

The Foreign Minister, Gerald Zackios, says there is no point in further talks until the US negotiators have seen that proposal.

He also indicated that he is still awaiting a formal reply to a Marshalls request for for discussions about extending the term of US use of the Kwajalein missile range.