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President Tsai arrives in Panama

2016/06/26 10:27:29

Panama City, June 25 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Panama City Saturday on her first overseas trip since assuming office May 20.

Tsai was greeted by a red-carpet ceremony upon arriving at the airport in the capital city of Panama, to an enthusiastic welcome by Panamanian officials and nearly 200 Taiwanese expatriates.

During the three-day visit, Tsai will attend the inauguration ceremony for the expanded Panama Canal and visit Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez.

Addressing her well-wishers at the airport, Tsai said she felt "very honored to be invited by President Varela to attend the Panama Canal opening ceremony," and that "on behalf of the Republic of China government and its people," she wanted to "convey the highest congratulations and greetings to the Panamanian government and its people."

"To be able to take part in the ceremony with leaders and representatives from the whole world and the Panamanian government and people, I feel it's like attending a happy event of a good friend, with full expectations and joy," she said.

Tsai expressed hope that two-way Taiwan-Panama relations and the benefits that would bring for the two countries' people would be further boosted following her visit to the Central American country.

Before flying to Panama, Tsai made a transit stop in Miami, Florida, where she met with Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher Wei-yin Chen (陳偉殷), who is currently with the Miami Marlins, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

(By S.P. Yeh and Flor Wang)
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