President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said he hoped to visit Burkina Faso in May to preside over the ground-breaking ceremony of a medical center there in May.
The west African country is scheduled to start construction of a 600-bed national facility in the capital city of Ouagadougou before next year's parliamentary elections.
Chen made the remarks while receiving President Blaise Compaore at the Presidential Office yesterday morning. The meeting came after a military ceremony held in front of the Presidential Office. Compaore arrived in Taipei on Sunday for a five-day visit.
Chen added that the 15,000 military uniforms that the administration has pledged to Burkina Faso would be delivered in March, Chen said.
As Compaore was a paratrooper, the president said that he was thinking of letting Burkina Faso inspect Taiwan's parachuting equipment.
If all goes well, both countries could consider forging a cooperative program, he added.
Chen apologized to Compaore and his wife on behalf of first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), saying she was not able to attend because she had not been feeling well lately.
As Compaore won 81 percent of the votes in last year's presidential election, Chen said he hoped the ruling party would win in next year's parliamentary election.
Chen also conveyed his hope that the African Union would support Burkina Faso and help it realize its dream of becoming a non-standing member of the UN Security Council in 2008.
Meanwhile, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), in a veiled reference to the troubles besetting Chen, said that money and power were ephemeral and that leaving a lasting legacy was more important.
"Character, upbringing, patriotism and love are important," Lee said. "Many things that happen today have a lot to do with the lack of dignity."
Money and power have little meaning because they are transitory, he said, citing as an example that when he left the presidency, the power went with it.
"Spiritual fulfillment is worth a lifetime's pursuit," he said.
Lee made the remarks while addressing an award ceremony in Taipei yesterday morning.
When asked about the controversy involving Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (
Speculations have mounted that Lee was so upset with the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), in which he is the spiritual leader, that he refused to campaign for TSU candidates for next month's elections.
While Lee yesterday said that he did not know whether he would stump for TSU candidates, TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said that Lee would see all TSU candidates tomorrow and offer encouragement.
Lin said the reason that Lee did not campaign for the party's candidate for Kaohsiung mayoral election, Lo Chih-ming (
Speculation was rife that Lee's absence was because he was unhappy with the TSU's about-face on the legislature's third attempt to recall Chen.