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Introduction: The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with...

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Foreign Relations: Kiribati maintains close relations with its Pacific neighbours, including Australia and New Zealand, and is an active member of the Pacific Islands Forum (http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/spacific/index.html) and other regional organisations (http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/spacific/index.html). A member of the Commonwealth since independence, Kiribati became a member of the United Nations on 14 September 1999 (http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/1999/fa101_99.html) , and operates one overseas diplomatic mission, its High Commission in Suva, as well as Honorary Consulates in Sydney, Rhydderch (UK), Honolulu, Tokyo, Hamburg, Auckland and Hong ...

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History: The I-Kiribati people settled what would become known as the Gilbert Islands between 1000 and 1300 AD. Subsequent invasions by Fijians and Tongans introduced Melanesian and Polynesian elements to the Micronesian culture, but extensive intermarriage has produced a population reasonably homogeneous in appearance and traditions.

European contact began in the 16th century. ...

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International Relations: Kiribati's relations with its neighbours

Kiribati is an active member of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Kiribati's relations with the international community

Kiribati is a full member of the Commonwealth, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the UN in 1999. Kiribati has Least Developed Country Status and its interests rarely extend beyond the region. Through accession to the EU Cotonou Agreement, Kiribati is also a member of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group. Kiribati established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in December 2003. The Kiribati Government has a ...

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