Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

Millionaire as Palau’s Ambassador?

(From left to right) Senate President Hokkons Baules, Rabih Antonios Reaidy and his wife, Joelle Farah-Reaidy during a meeting with Palauan government officials at the Palau Royal Resort yesterday evening, August 31. (Photo from the Office of the President)

Remengesau appoints Palau Ambassador to UAE

  •  CEO of one of largest paint companies in Middle East is President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.’s nominee for Palau Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. has nominated a new Palau Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Rabih Antonios Reaidy, who is set to be confirmed by the Senate today, August 31, at 2pm at the Old OEK Building.

Reaidy, who is Palau’s Honorary Consul in Lebanon, is in Palau for the confirmation and is accompanied by his wife Joelle Farah-Reaidy.

Reaidy states in his curriculum vitae that he is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RAR Holding Group of Companies since 2000 until the present.

According to the company website, RAR Holding is a wood paints manufacturer that was established in 1970 and now has most of its manufacturing and trading business concentrated in the Middle East coatings market. It also has factory facilities in Italy, UAE, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Nigeria as well as its many global agents/distributors, according to the same site.

RAR Holdings is one of the largest coatings manufacturers in the Middle East according to a 2017 post of www.coatingsworld.com.

Remengesau, through his letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules, said that Reaidy will be “taking the position at no cost” to Palau and has even agreed to be paid with a “$1 salary.”

Among the Chief Executive Officers in the world that is paid a $1 salary is Facebook’s very own Mark Zuckerberg, according to an article published by Forbes in 2014.

In the same letter by Remengesau, he also stated that Reaidy has committed to establish a physical consulate office for Palau in UAE without cost to Palau as well.

“Mr. Reaidy, who has served as our Honorary Consul to the Lebanese Republic, holds an exceptional portfolio as an entrepreneur and investor in the Arabian and Gulf States with a business and political network that will surely strengthen and enhance our relationship with the UAE as well as around the middle-eastern region,” the letter reads.

“Mr. Reaidy comes at an opportune time as we move forward in solidifying our relationship with one of our most promising partners — the United Arab Emirates. I have every confidence that Mr. Reaidy will represent the Republic well in advancing our sustainable domestic development agenda as well as in the strengthening of our bilateral relations with the UAE,” the letter further explains.

Aside from being an entrepreneur, Reaidy is also a graduate of Bachelor of Law at the Lebanese University.

“Mr. Reaidy’s extensive political and economic knowledge of the seven emirates as well as the Gulf States make him most suitable for this important assignment,” the letter states.

Press Secretary Olkeriil Kazuo told Island Times that Reaidy, who is a Lebanese, has been Palau’s Honorary Consul and that his appointment for that post had helped cultivate relationship with the President and the Palauan people.

“Reaidy was our Honorary consul to Lebanon, so I guess we can say that with that appointment, relationship grew with President Remengesau and the Palauan people,” Kazuo said.

Reaidy, according to Kazuo, had also helped Remengesau in his previous visit to the UAE, and although having no Ambassador title that time, he had facilitated a meeting with the UAE government that led to the release of a $5-million grant for the solar panel installations and water desalination projects for Peleliu and Angaur.

When asked why Palau has decided to open a consulate office in UAE now despite not having a Palauan citizen there, Kazuo said that President Remengesau wants to enhance diplomatic policy with its partners.

Kazuo added that Remengesau is looking into a global concern rather than just Palau.

According to Kazuo, Remengesau has thanked the Senate for initially accepting his nomination.

This is not the first time that a rich Lebanese has been appointed by a Palauan President to represent the country in international dealings.

In 2016, a heated discussion in the Senate occurred over the appointment of Taha Azmi Mikata, co-founder of Investcom and Founder and Chairman of M1 Group, as Delegate of Palau to the UNESCO. Mizikata’s appointment had been put in question especially that it came without the Senate’s consent, according to our previous report.

Meanwhile, the Senate has the final nod on Reaidy’s appointment and whether he will be confirmed or not for the title is still to be determined at the next Senate session. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)