Wed, Dec 03, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Sao Tomean ties remain strong

LASTING LINKS:A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official reaffirmed links with the African nation as the leader of Nauru, a Pacific ally, began a six-day visit to the nation

Staff writer, with CNA

Sao Tome and Principe’s ties with Taiwan will remain strong, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday, three days after the African nation’s Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada, assumed his duties.

The new prime minister, who took office on Saturday last week, has a close relationship with Taiwan, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Deputy Director-General Alexandre Cheng (鄭維) said.

His father, former Sao Tomean president Miguel Trovoada, who served from 1991 to 2001, was one of the primary driving forces behind the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties in 1997, Cheng said.

Bilateral ties are expected to remain stable, Cheng said at a regular news conference.

Taiwan and Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation off the coast of west Africa, have cooperated in such fields as public health, agriculture, education, infrastructure and the treatment and prevention of malaria, the ministry said.

In June, then-Sao Tomean president Manuel Pinto da Costa visited Shanghai and Beijing, leading to speculation that Taiwan’s diplomatic ties with the African ally might be in jeopardy.

Taiwanese and Sao Tomean officials have said that Pinto da Costa’s trip to China was solely for economic purposes and that bilateral ties remained firm and unchanged.

Pinto da Costa is expected to pay a visit to Taiwan in the first half of next year, the ministry said.

In other news, the president of the Pacific nation of Nauru is in Taiwan on a visit to promote bilateral ties.

Nauruan President Baron Waqa is leading a delegation of health, transportation, sports and fishery officials on a six-day visit set to end on Saturday, the ministry said.

Waqa is to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and officials at the ministries of labor and foreign affairs, as well as the Taipei-based International Cooperation and Development Fund, among others, the foreign ministry said.

The delegation is also to tour the nation to learn more about its development in the medical, electronics, agricultural and biotechnology fields, it said.

This is Waqa’s second visit to Taiwan since taking office in June last year, the foreign ministry said.

Taiwan and Nauru have maintained cooperation in the areas of agriculture, medicine, clean energy, personnel training and culture since they re-established diplomatic ties in 2005, the foreign ministry added.

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