President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will embark on an eight-day diplomatic trip to Panama and Belize at the end of this month, with stopovers in Hawaii and Seattle, the Presidential Office said yesterday.
\n"The main purpose of the trip is to attend the inauguration of Panamanian President-elect Martin Torrijos on Sept. 1," Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General James Huang (黃志芳) said during a press conference.
\nIt will be Chen's first official trip abroad since his re-election in March.
\n"Because the president is busy dealing with national affairs, the trip has been arranged with security, convenience and simplicity firmly in mind," Huang said.
\nChen will leave on Aug. 29 with a one-night stopover in Hawaii before arriving in Panama on Aug. 31 for a two-day visit.
\nApart from attending the inauguration of president-elect Martin Torrijos, Chen will also attend a banquet hosted by outgoing President Mireya Elisa Moscoso and hold interviews with the international press.
\nChen will then travel to Belize, a Central American ally which Chen has not had a chance to visit until now.
\nChen will sign a joint communique with Belizean Prime Minister Said Musa during his one-day visit as well as receiving the keys to Belize City.
\nChen and Musa will also decorate each other, Huang said.
\nChen will also take basketballs and soccer balls as a gift to Belize, Huang added.
\nChen is scheduled to return on Sept. 5.
\nMinister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (
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