Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Saturday that Taiwan’s 23 million people should not be excluded from important international organizations such as the UN.
Speaking at a luncheon that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) hosted for Taiwanese expatriates in Nicaragua, Ortega reiterated his country’s friendship with Taiwan and its determination to support Taiwan’s efforts to be integrated into the international community.
Ortega’s friendly words came a day after he failed to welcome Ma at the airport or attend a state banquet, raising speculation of tensions between the two countries.
After apologizing to Ma earlier on Saturday for his absences, Ortega said that based on solid ties between the two countries, Nicaragua and Taiwan will bolster bilateral exchanges, particularly in the fields of trade, agriculture and education.
He welcomed Ma’s proposal, made earlier in the day, to have Nicaraguan students pursue advanced studies in Taiwan, and Nicaraguans to receive vocational training in Taiwan.
“This is a very good way to strengthen cultural exchanges between the two countries,” Ortega said.
He also praised Ma’s “modus vivendi” diplomatic approach and “diplomatic truce” concept in dealing with China, saying it had resulted in improved cross-strait relations and contributed to regional stability.
He also lauded the contributions that Taiwanese expatriates have made to Nicaragua. He said that ethnic Chinese immigrants in Nicaragua, whether from Taiwan or China, are all Nicaraguan citizens and have all made valuable contributions to Nicaragua’s development.
Ma and his entourage arrived in Managua on Friday for a two-day visit — the second leg of his two-country Central American tour after Panama.
Ma is scheduled to return to Taiwan today after a stopover in Hawaii.