Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Nicaragua, Honduras ambassadors reaffirm commitment

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Ambassadors from Nicaragua and Honduras yesterday stressed their nations’ commitment to maintaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan, after El Salvador’s switch of allegiance to Beijing fueled doubts about the solidity of relations with allies in the region.

“We are a staunch ally of the Republic of China [Taiwan]... We have always supported Taiwan in the international arena and we hope that Taiwan can know we are its best ally,” Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Tapia told the Taipei Times on the sidelines of an event at the embassy in Taipei to promote the new “Nicaragua, beautiful as ever” tourism campaign.

Shortly after Taiwan on Tuesday cut its 85-year-old ties with El Salvador, Tapia said he was instructed by Nicaragua’s president and vice president to meet Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) to reassure him of Nicaragua’s commitment to Taiwan.

Tapia said he also expressed to Liu his nation’s hope that Taiwan would consider transferring its projects in El Salvador to Nicaragua.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega at his inauguration in January last year promised President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) that “as long as I am the president of Nicaragua, we will never betray Taiwan,” Tapia said.

“We are people of commitment,” he added.

Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada said ties are stable, as the two nations are working on different projects that are to benefit both sides.

“Every time that a country goes with China, Honduras is supposed to be the next one, and we are here,” Sierra told reporters via text message.

El Salvador is the fifth nation and the third Central American ally to switch recognition to Beijing since Tsai took office in May 2016, following Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso.

In related news, Chinese-language Web site Up Media on Wednesday reported that Liu, who spent the majority of his diplomatic career in Central America, might be posted to Guatemala to salvage ties, as the nation has been listed as a high-risk ally.

Guatemala’s embassy in Taiwan yesterday said that it could not comment before consulting with its government.

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