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U.S. Department of State
96/12/20 Statement: Death of Marshall Islands President Amata Kabua
Office of the Spokesman

Press Statement by Nicholas Burns/Spokesman
December 20, 1996

                  Death of Marshall Islands President Kabua

Early this morning, Amata Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands, died 
at Queens Hospital in Honolulu after an extended illness.  The State 
Department offers its condolences to President Kabua's wife and family 
and to the people of the Marshall Islands.

President Kabua had a long and distinguished career.  Notably, he was a 
principal participant in the negotiations which resulted in the Marshall 
Islands becoming a sovereign nation in free association with the United 
States in 1986. Under his leadership, the bilateral relationship between 
the United States and the Marshall Islands has prospered.

Amata Kabua was the first and only president of his young nation.  
Starting his career as a school teacher, President Kabua rose to become 
paramount chief of the Island of Majuro and head of state of the 
Marshall Islands.  In this capacity, he spoke on the global stage at the 
United Nations and hosted the South Pacific Forum in Majuro in September 
1996.  He was reelected to his fifth term of office as President in 
January 1996.

A condolence book will be open at the Embassy of the Republic of the 
Marshall Islands from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, December 23.
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