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Taiwan to donate three patrol boats to The Gambia

2013/08/20 12:47:58

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) Taiwan will donate three more patrol boats to diplomatic ally The Gambia to help strengthen its ability to patrol its coast, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

The African country will officially take over the boats at a ceremony there on Aug. 23 that will be attended by Gambian President Yahya J.J. Jammeh, said Winston Hu, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of West Asian and African Affairs.

The 8-ton boats, which are already in The Gambia, will "help Gambian maritime law enforcement authorities combat drug trafficking and smuggling," Hu said.

Taiwan donated four 50-ton patrol boats in 2009 to help the West African country strengthen its naval defenses and maritime patrol capabilities, the ministry said.

The decision to donate more patrol boats to The Gambia came after one of those four boats previously donated suffered serious damage, the ministry said.

The Gambia is one of Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies.

(By Elaine Hou)