Taiwan on Sunday signed an extradition treaty with Saint Kitts and Nevis as part of bilateral efforts to combat crime.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre, shortly after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) arrived in the Caribbean nation on a state visit.
Ma said at the ceremony that the extradition treaty is Taiwan’s first agreement with Saint Kitts and Nevis since the two countries established diplomatic ties 30 years ago.
It is also the 11th extradition treaty that Taiwan has signed with other countries.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) and his Saint Kitts and Nevis counterpart, Patrice Nisbett, on behalf of the two countries.
Ma said the extradition treaty is of great significance to the two countries’ common goal of fighting crime and upholding justice.
However, based on experiences with other countries, there might not be many opportunities for the application of the treaty, Ma said.
“However, without such a treaty, we may be unable to bring criminals to justice on some occasions,” he said.
“Therefore, it is very important to have an extradition treaty in place to combat crime and ensure the effective execution of the law,” he added.
“I’m very pleased to be able to witness the signing of this agreement, as I used to regret that I was unable to represent our country in signing any extradition treaty with other countries during my three-year term as minister of justice,” Ma added.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas greeted Ma and his entourage at the airport upon their arrival in Basseterre.
Ma said he has learned from media reports that Saint Kitts and Nevis has a compelling array of natural variety and beauty.
The country has often been listed as one of the world’s 10 “must-visit” tourist destinations and its Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Ma said he hopes to have an opportunity to see the country’s scenery during his visit.
He said Saint Kitts and Nevis is an important ally and that over the past three decades, the two countries have forged a cordial relationship through cooperation in areas such as tourism, agriculture, “green” energy, manpower training, education and culture.
During his visit, Ma and Douglas are scheduled to review various cooperative projects, and explore feasible ways to further deepen and expand bilateral cooperation.