Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Foreign minister inks Caribbean deals

JOINT EFFORT:Taiwan and St Lucia have signed an agreement and would work closely in combating international crimes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said

By Lu Yi-hsuan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee hands out an Asus laptop as a prize during an official visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, in an undated photo.

Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) yesterday concluded an official visit to the nation’s three diplomatic allies in the Caribbean, where he signed two bilateral agreements on police cooperation and diabetes prevention, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Responding to invitations from Saint Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Lee led a delegation to the three nations late last month.

The nation’s relations with its Caribbean allies were in a state of flux, Lee said during a legislative session in March last year.

Particularly, the nation’s relations with St Lucia appeared to be unstable after Taiwan last year changed its ambassador there and because the two nations had severed diplomatic ties in 1997, before re-establishing them in 2007.

Taiwan’s relations with the three allies are now stable and sound, the ministry added.

Lee presided over the signing of a bilateral agreement on police cooperation with St Lucia, the ministry said, adding that the two nations would work more closely in combating international crimes by exchanging police information and personnel training.

The delegation also signed a bilateral agreement on the prevention and treatment of diabetes with St Vincent, the ministry added.

Representatives from the two governments discussed working on collaborative plans such as “smart” buses and road monitors.

The nation’s relationship with St Vincent is relatively stable, considering Gonsalves visited Taiwan and had a warm interaction with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during Double Ten National Day celebrations last year, the ministry said.

Lee invited St Kitts and Nevis Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards to visit Taiwan to observe the nation’s achievements in vocational education and career training, while expressing the hope to help the Caribbean nation develop its human resources and create more jobs with higher economic value.

Taiwan aims to promote a practical diplomacy by elevating the living standards of its allies, the ministry said.

It also makes contributions to shape a more harmonious and just international community by working to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, it added.

The delegation was received by Chastanet, St Vincent Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Louis Hilton Straker, and St Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Brantley at their respective airports, the ministry said.

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