President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday welcomed Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and embassy personnel with an honor guard, as the Caribbean ally is to open its new embassy in Taipei’s Tianmu area (天母) today.
After the opening, all of the nation’s 17 allies would have set up embassies in Taiwan.
The two nations established formal ties in 1981 and Taiwan set up its embassy in Kingstown, the capital of the Caribbean country, in 1983.
Yesterday’s ceremony took place at the Liberty Square (自由廣場) in Taipei, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) and other high-ranking officials attending.
Tsai thanked Gonsalves for extending a warm welcome when she visited Saint Vincent during her 12-day “Journey of Freedom, Democracy and Sustainability” tour of Caribbean allies last month, and for leading his delegation to Taiwan less than a month after her visit.
Taiwan and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have sustained diplomatic ties for 38 years, and Kingstown remains its most faithful partner in the Caribbean region, Tsai said.
Gonsalves said in his speech that women and young people in his country were thrilled to see Tsai during her visit, as she is the first female leader of a great country and a great model for women.
One of the Vincentian delegation’s main purposes is to formally open the nation’s embassy in Taiwan and its government has appointed Andrea Bowman, “a wonderful woman,” as the first ambassador to Taiwan, he said.
The Vincentian delegation is visiting Taiwan until Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Following meetings with Tsai and Wu, the group is to visit the Industrial Technology Research Institute, the International Cooperation and Development Fund, the Taipei World Trade Center, museums and cultural parks, it said.
Gonsalves will also meet with Vincentian students in Taiwan, it said.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in June was elected one of the UN General Assembly’s non-permanent members of its Security County from next year to 2021, the ministry said.
Taiwan has expressed its sincere congratulations and will continue the close collaboration between the two nations, it said.
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