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On September 20, 1979, representatives of the newly independent Republic of Kiribati and of the United States met in Tarawa to sign a treaty of friendship between the two nations, known as the Treaty of Tarawa. More formally, the treaty is entitled, "Kiribati, Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty, September 20, 1979"; and subtitled "Treaty of Friendship Between the United States of America and the Republic of Kiribati".[1] In this treaty, the U.S. acknowledged Kiribati sovereignty over fourteen islands.[2] The treaty was approved by the U.S. Senate on June 21, 1983.[1] The treaty came into force on September 23, 1983, by the exchange of the instruments of ratification, which took place at Suva, Fiji.[3] This, together with British cessation of claims, ended the Canton and Enderbury Islands Condominium, which had begun under the terms of the Guano Islands Act. In Art. 3 the US have reserved the right to maintain military bases on the Islands of Canton, Enderbury or Hull.

Islands mentioned in the treaty

  • Birnie Island
  • Canton (Kanton)
  • Caroline Island
  • Christmas (Kiritimati)
  • Enderbury Island
  • Flint Island
  • Gardner (Nikumaroro)

  • Hull (Orona)
  • Malden Island
  • McKean Island
  • Rawaki Island
  • Starbuck Island
  • Manra Island
  • Vostok Island

See also

  • Line Islandsdivided by the treaty.
  • Howland and Baker islandsU.S. possessions not included in the treaty.


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