Tue, Aug 14, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Chen welcomes Nicaraguan VP Morales


President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday he will visit Nicaragua to meet his counterpart, Daniel Ortega, after a trip to Honduras late this month to attend a presidential summit between Taiwan and its diplomatic allies in Central America and the Caribbean.

Chen made the announcement during a meeting with visiting Nicaraguan Vice President Jaime Rene Morales Carazo at the Presidential Office. He described the planned state visit to Nicaragua as a perfect arrangement after Morales was appointed to attend the summit on behalf of Ortega.

At the meeting, Chen extended a warm welcome to Morales, congratulating him and Ortega on their electoral victory last year.

Chen said he had been honored to be invited to take part in the ceremony marking their inauguration on Jan. 10 in Managua. He met Ortega at the Sandinistas' headquarters and was moved by the newly elected president's promise to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

When the Ortega-led Sandinista National Liberation Front was in power for the first time between 1985 and 1990, Nicaragua switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.

The Nicaraguan government resumed diplomatic ties with Taiwan after Violeta Chamorro took power in 1990.

Since regaining the presidency,Ortega has reaffirmed on many occasions his determination to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan even after Costa Rica switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in June.

Morales arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for the second assembly of the Democratic Pacific Union, an international body founded by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to promote democracy, peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

The two-day event opened in Taipei yesterday.

This is Morales' second visit to Taiwan. His first was in July 2001.

Chen is scheduled to leave for Honduras next Monday to take part in the Taiwan-Central America summit.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, invitations have been extended to the heads of state of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Belize.

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