Fri, Apr 13, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma gets red carpet treatment on arrival in Gambia

Staff Writer, with CNA, BANJUL

Gambian dancers welcome President Ma Ying-jeou as he arrives at Banjul airport in the Gambia on Wednesday.

Photo: CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) arrived in the Gambia on Wednesday to a welcome ceremony led by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.

The red-carpet ceremony at Banjul airport began with a review of an honor guard and the playing of the national anthems of both countries. They were followed by traditional singing and dancing by thousands of performers lined up on either side of the red carpet.

At the conclusion of the hour-long ceremony, Jammeh accompanied Ma on the ride to his hotel aboard a military Hummer, as thousands of well-wishers greeted the leaders along the route.

The Gambia is the second leg of Ma’s three-nation state visit to Africa, that also includes Burkina Faso and Swaziland.

Prior to wrapping up his four-day, three-night visit to Burkina Faso, Ma said Taiwan’s relations with its 23 diplomatic allies have been stable over the past four years thanks to the “flexible diplomacy” promoted by his administration.

Under the policy, the government has stressed that the Republic of China should not be isolated by Chinese pressure in the international community so that cross-strait relations can develop smoothly, he said.

This approach has led to major progress in Taiwan’s efforts to expand its international participation, including its attendance at the World Health Assembly as an observer, accession to the Agreement on Government Procurement and its inclusion in the visa-waiver programs of various countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, he added.

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