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Wed, Jan 17, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Special envoy to attend inauguration ceremony in Palau

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President of the Judicial Yuan Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生) will lead a delegation to the Republic of Palau to attend the upcoming inauguration ceremony of the Pacific island state's next president.

"I am honored to lead the delegation to Palau to attend the inauguration of the sixth president of the country, Tommy Remengesau, to be held on Jan. 19," Weng said in a written statement yesterday.

During his visit to Palau in his capacity as President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) special envoy, Weng is scheduled to meet with high-ranking officials of the country. As well Weng will meet with Taiwan community leaders and Taiwan's agricultural technical mission, which is providing agricultural assistance to the country, the statement added.

The west Pacific island state of Palau established formal ties with Taiwan in December 1999, becoming Taiwan's 29th diplomatic ally.

Ties between the two countries were reported to be fragile following Remengesau's victory over incumbent president Kuniwo Nakamura in a general election last November, during which Taiwan was reported to have been supportive of Nakamura's bid for re-election.

But during his visit to Taipei at the end of last December, Remengesau said during a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he was going straight home to spend time with his family for Christmas, thus shattering rumors that he would head for Beijing after his trip to Taipei.

Remengesau then also ensured Taiwan that bilateral ties remained stable.

Taiwan has had exchanges with Palau since 1980, signing an agricultural agreement with the island in 1984 and recently an aviation agreement on Dec. 2, 1999.

Palau, which was previously under UN trusteeship, became an independent country on Oct. 1, 1994 when its voters approved the Compact of Free Association with the US.

Five of Taiwan's 29 allies are Pacific islands states, including the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

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