President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) left for the Marshall Islands last night to attend a summit with leaders of the nation's diplomatic allies in the Pacific.
Chen will not make any transit stops during his trip to the North Pacific island state and is scheduled to return on Sunday.
Taiwan has donated US$5 million to build a facility to house the summit. Chen will attend the inauguration of the convention center today.
Chen and leaders of the nation's six Pacific allies -- the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Nauru -- are expected to sign the "Majuro Declaration," in which the nation's allies promise to voice their support for Taiwan's bid to join the UN.
The presidents of five of the Pacific allies will attend the summit. Kiribati President Anote Tong has assigned Vice President Teima Onorio to attend the event on his behalf.
The six island nations represent a quarter of the countries around the world that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan and have helped it campaign to win international representation.
In related news, Chen signed a joint communique with Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte Frutos at the Presidential Office yesterday, agreeing that disputes should be resolved through peaceful dialogue rather than military force and denouncing all forms of terrorism and drug trafficking activities.
They concurred that both governments would jointly combat terrorism and drug trafficking and provide mutual assistance in legal proceedings.
Chen said he appreciated Paraguay's staunch support for Taiwan in international affairs, including its bid to join the UN and the WHO.
Duarte Frutos celebrated his birthday at Taipei 101 with Foreign Affairs Minister James Huang (
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