The United States has recognised the Cook Islands and Niue as “sovereign and independent” states and pledged to open diplomatic relations.
In a statement on Monday, Biden said “the history and the future of the Pacific Islands and the United States are inextricably linked”.
“The United States’ recognition of the Cook Islands, and the establishment of diplomatic relations will not only strengthen the ties between our nations, it will help ensure that our shared future is more secure, more prosperous, and more free — for our people and people around the world.”
The US president is hosting the leaders of Pacific Island nations for two days of discussions in Washington, DC, this week.
The US-Pacific Island Forum Summit is expected to focus heavily on the effects of the climate crisis, as well as economic growth, sustainable development and public health.
The forum includes Australia, the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.