Sun, May 20, 2012 - Page 3 News List

MA’S RE-INAUGURATION: Taiwan’s diplomatic allies thanked for their support

By Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday thanked diplomatic allies for supporting Taiwan as it sought official international recognition with various organizations and said he expected to maintain strong ties with overseas partner nations during his second term.

The message of solidarity came one day before Ma’s inauguration for a second term, which he spent at more than a dozen meetings with foreign dignitaries.

In his meeting with Nauru President H.E. Sprent Dabwido, Ma said the ally nation’s support had helped the international community better understand Taiwan’s willingness to join international organizations and said “we are thankful for such assistance.”

Ma also expressed gratitude to the Pacific island states of the Republic of Palau, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu for their on-going diplomatic support. Ma will meet with more delegations after his inauguration this morning, including delegations from Japan and the US.

Yesterday evening a reception for foreign dignitaries was held at the Taipei Guest House by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Delivering a brief statement to the press, former White House chief of staff William Daley, who led the US delegation for the inauguration, said the US was proud to be in Taiwan to wish Ma well and to “wish the next four years to continue their economic and political cooperation.”

“The United States was very pleased with the economic progress that has been made, so we look forward to greater cooperation both on economic and security issues,” said Daley, who retired in January last year after serving as White House chief of staff for a year.

Earlier yesterday afternoon the US delegation also met with Premier Sean Chen . In response to journalists’ questions, Chen said he was trying to convince the US guests of the importance of Taiwan engaging with the international economic and trade system, both bilaterally with the US and multilaterally by joining the emerging multilateral free-trade agreement of the Trans--Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Chen said he told the US delegation that the government will strive to negotiate with the US over the possibility of signing a free-trade agreement and of becoming a member of the TPP, which “are both in the interests of the US.”

The ministry said 230 foreign dignitaries are to attend Ma’s inauguration today.

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