Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lai In-jaw relays greetings from Ma to St. Lucia’s PM

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA

Judicial Yuan President Lai In-jaw (賴英照), special envoy of President Ma Ying-jeou, called on St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King on Saturday on the occasion of the Caribbean nation’s 30th anniversary of independence.

Lai delivered a letter from Ma and relayed the president’s greetings to King. Lai thanked St. Lucia for its support of the nation’s applications to join international organizations and invited King to visit Taiwan.

In response, King expressed appreciation for Taiwan’s assistance to his country in the areas of infrastructure, aquaculture, orchid cultivation and e-government.

He reiterated St. Lucia’s firm support for Taiwan and asserted that his country would continue to back Taiwan’s bids to participate in international organizations, including the UN.

Lai also met St. Lucian Foreign Minister Rufus Bousquet and Industry and Commerce Minister Tessa Mangal over lunch.

Accompanied by Ambassador to St. Lucia Tom Chou (周台竹) and St. Lucian Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph, Lai later in the day visited a psychiatric hospital, a telecommunications technology center and a model farm — all cooperative ventures established by the two countries.

Taiwan and St. Lucia resumed diplomatic ties in April 2007 after a 10 year break, during which the Caribbean country maintained ties with China.

With the resumption of diplomatic links, Taiwan dispatched technical teams to St. Lucia in July 2007 to help the Caribbean country with its production of orchids, vegetables, freshwater fish and shrimp and to build its information technology sector, he said.

Two weeks ago, the two countries held an orchid exhibition in Castries, where thousands of plants from Taiwan were sold, Chou said. This prompted the St. Lucia Agriculture Ministry to step up its efforts to promote cooperation with Taiwanese experts on orchid cultivation, he said.

On Saturday, Lai also paid a call on St. Lucian Governor General Pearlette Louisy, who praised the cooperation between the two countries.

Lai left Taiwan last Wednesday with a delegation to St. Lucia for independence celebrations.

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) visited the country in January last year and King visited Taiwan in June.

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