- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
It appears the Uighurs have arrived in Palau, but they may not have much company there for long:
President Johnson Toribiong himself welcomed the group when they arrived before dawn Sunday on a secret flight, and he will treat them to a personal tour of the Rock Islands, a diving attraction that is country’s top tourist destination, later this week as part of their orientation.
But Toribiong has also announced plans to send home between 200 and 300 Bangladeshi Muslim migrants whose work visas have expired, and last month he banned anyone else from the South Asian country from entering . No timetable has been set for deporting the Bangladeshis.
Palau’s Muslim community of about 500 is made up almost completely of Bangladeshi migrant workers. Reducing their number by half could make the Uighurs’ transition to island life that much more difficult.
"They need a community of Muslims," Mujahid Hussain, the only Pakistani in Palau, said of the Uighurs.
Definitely never imagined I would see a quote from someone identified as "the only Pakistani in Palau" in an AP story.
Toribiong, who I spoke with briefly in September, has a nack for getting his country international headlines with moves like accepting the uighurs or creating the world’s first shark sanctuary. The downside of that is that messy Palauan immigration disputes are now covered by the international press.