Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma eyes Big Apple stopover en route to diplomacy tour

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is to embark on a visit to the nation’s diplomatic allies in South America and the Caribbean on Aug. 11, and is planning to make brief stops in New York en route to South America, and in Los Angeles when returning to Taipei, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

The president is to stay in New York for about one-and-a-half days, with the US government expected to provide the usual courtesies, the Presidential Office said, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still in talks with the US government to finalize the itinerary for Ma’s New York stay.

Ma is due to attend the inauguration of Paraguayan president-elect Horacio Cartes on Aug. 15, and plans to visit Caribbean allies Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. A visit to Haiti could also be included on his itinerary.

First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) is not expected to accompany Ma on the trip, and the president is scheduled to return on Aug. 21.

Ma has said he expects to visit all of the nation’s 23 diplomatic allies during his terms as president. He visited the nation’s only European ally — the Vatican — in March to attend Pope Francis’ inauguration Mass.

Last year, he made a first visit to three of the nation’s African allies — Burkina Faso, the Gambia and Swaziland.

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