Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Saint Lucia’s Chastanet, Paraguay president arrive

Staff writer, with CNA

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, center, his wife, Silvana Lopez Moreira de Abdo, second right, are accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, second left, after their arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has arrived in Taiwan on a state visit and to join celebrations for Double Ten National Day on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Separately, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez and his wife, Silvana Lopez Moreira de Abdo, arrived in Taipei yesterday after the government invited them to attend Double Ten National Day celebrations, the ministry said.

Chastanet was invited by the government for his third visit to the nation since becoming prime minister in June 2016, the ministry said in a statement.

During his four-day stay, Chastanet is to attend a welcoming ceremony with military honors and a national banquet to be hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), and hold talks with Tsai and other officials, the ministry said.

Saint Lucia is one of 17 nations that formally recognize Taiwan.

The ministry lauded the close cooperation between Taiwan and Saint Lucia in the areas of infrastructure development, agriculture, education and culture, information technology, and public health and medical care.

The two countries will continue to promote projects benefiting their people and those aimed at deepening their friendly relations, it said.

In other developments, Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) on Saturday said that relations with Palau remain friendly and stable, and bilateral cooperation programs were going smoothly after the Apple Daily in Hong Kong reported that Palau House of Delegates Speaker Sabino Anastacio predicted ties with Taiwan could be changed, probably within two years.

Palau has demonstrated its strong support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1999, which the ministry much appreciates, Lee said.

The ministry is pushing ahead with cooperation programs in Palau to further promote the friendship, and the relationship remains “close and friendly,” he said.

Lee said that the ministry respected the opinions expressed by Anastacio and others on the development of relations between Taiwan and Palau, and has instructed Taiwan’s embassy in the Pacific nation to increase communications to make sure Palau knows that Taiwan is a good friend.

Beijing in November last year imposed travel restrictions prohibiting Chinese travel agencies from organizing tours to Palau, dealing a harsh blow to Palau’s economy.

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