Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma welcomes Burkina Faso leader

Staff writer, with CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday welcomed Burkina Faso Interim Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and said that the friendship between the two countries was stable.

Ma met a delegation led by Zida at the Presidential Office and described Zida as a solid friend of the Republic of China (ROC).

Burkina Faso is one of 22 countries that maintain formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Ma spoke of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and renewable energy. He also mentioned Taiwan’s “Lighting Up Africa” relief program being carried out in the west African country.

Ma said Taiwan plans to donate 145,000 solar lamps to 916 rural schools in Burkina Faso over four years under the program, and as of May 31, 126,000 lamps, or 87 percent of the planned total, had been delivered.

Earlier in the day, Zida and the delegation visited Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) at the Executive Yuan.

During the meeting, Mao said that bilateral relations were close and friendly, and he thanked the African ally for its constant support for the ROC in the international community.

Mao said Zida is very familiar with Taiwan’s economic development and its cooperative links with Burkina Faso.

Zida was named prime minister and defense minister of the interim government after former Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore was ousted from power by a popular youth upheaval in October last year. The interim prime minister had visited Taiwan four times before his current visit.

The 18-member Burkinabe delegation arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a five-day visit at the invitation of the Taiwanese government.

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