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Nauru president visits Taiwan

2019/01/07 11:31:54

President Baron Divavesi Waqa (right) shakes hands with Taiwan's representative Morris Chang (left) during the 2018 APEC forum in Papua New Guinea. (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) President Baron Divavesi Waqa of Taiwan's Pacific island ally Nauru arrived in the country Monday for a five-day state visit, during which he will meet President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and tour the Taichung Flora Expo, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Leading a 13-member delegation, President Waqa will stay in Taiwan until Friday during which time he is scheduled to attend a state banquet hosted by Tsai and a welcome reception organized by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), a MOFA statement said.

Waqa will also travel to the central city of Taichung to tour the ongoing Flora Expo and visit the southern port city of Kaohsiung to gain a firsthand insight into port and harbor construction in Taiwan.

The trip demonstrates the strength and stability of bilateral relations between the two allies, MOFA said.

Waqa last visited the country on a transit stop from Japan in May 2018, where he attended the eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting.

According to MOFA, Nauru hosted a series of international events in 2018 attended by Foreign Minister Wu and other senior Taiwanese officials, including the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) held in September.

The PIF is a regional political and economic policy organization in which Taiwan has participated since 1993.

On Taiwan's behalf, Wu congratulated the Pacific nation on the 50th anniversary of its independence during his trip to the PIF, MOFA noted.

The two countries also launched a reciprocal visa-free program for citizens in June 2018 to enhance closer two-way exchanges, it added.

As a long-term supporter of Taiwan on the international stage, MOFA said Nauru and Taiwan will continue to work closely in the areas of medicine, healthcare, capacity building, clean energy, agricultural and cultural exchanges.

(By Joseph Yeh)