Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly will begin a four-day state visit to Taiwan tomorrow as the two nations celebrate 58 years of diplomatic ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.
Martelly will head a 30-member delegation, which includes Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Duly Brutus, Haitian Minister of Commerce and Industry Wilson Laleau and Haitian Minster of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development Thomas Jacques, MOFA said in a statement.
A number of Haitian governmental officials, industry leaders and media representatives are to accompany the president and his wife on the visit.
This will be Martelly’s first visit to Taiwan as Haiti’s head of state after taking office in May 2011.
During the visit, he will hold talks with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the two leaders will sign a joint communique, MOFA said.
The upcoming trip is important for bilateral relations because it has been 12 years since a Haitian president visited Taiwan, MOFA said.
The last was Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who came in July 2002, during then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) first term in office.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) is scheduled to meet with his Haitian counterpart and the two will complete the signing of an agreement on Taiwan helping to improve Haiti’s rice production.
Martelly, along with Haiti’s top commercial and industrial figures, is to attend a seminar on trade and investment set for Tuesday hosted by MOFA and the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.
The Haitian delegation is also to stop by many cultural and economic establishments, such as the 921 Earthquake Museum in Nantou County, the Central Taiwan Science Park, the Taichung District Agriculture Research and Extension Station and Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in central Taiwan.
The upcoming arrival of Haiti’s top officials follows a similar visit to Haiti by Ma in August last year, when he was given a warm welcome by Martelly and his administration as the first president of the Republic of China to visit the Caribbean nation in 58 years of bilateral relations.
Martelly has been a close friend of Taiwan and his upcoming visit highlights the strong friendship between the two nations, MOFA said, adding that the four-day visit will help improve bilateral exchanges and cooperation.
The two countries established diplomatic ties on April 25, 1956.