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U.S. delegation to Ma's inauguration a sign of strong ties: MOFA

2012/05/12 14:50:15

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) The United States will send a "heavyweight" delegation to President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration ceremony on May 20, in a move that symbolizes the strong bilateral ties between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday.

Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley will lead a five-member delegation to Taiwan from May 18-21, according to a statement released by the ministry.

The ranking of the delegation reflects "the friendly and close relations between the two states" and "the U.S.' high assurance and support toward Ma's administration," it said.

Daley served as White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama from 2011-2012. He was also U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton, the statement said.

Daley will be joined by former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, former Director of Policy Planning in the State Department Anne-Marie Slaughter, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt, and former AIT Chairman and Managing Director Richard Bush.

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

Besides attending the ceremony, the delegation will call on Ma, Vice President Wu Den-yih, Premier Sean Chen and Foreign Minister Timothy Yang, the statement noted.

In 2008, then-U.S. President George W. Bush also assigned a five-member delegation led by former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card to attend Ma's first inauguration ceremony.

(By Nancy Liu)
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