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Eswatini prime minister reaffirms ties during Tsai meet

03/19/2024 07:47 PM
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Eswatini's Prime Minister Russell Dlamini meets President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Tuesday. CNA photo March 19, 2024
Eswatini's Prime Minister Russell Dlamini meets President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Tuesday. CNA photo March 19, 2024

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Eswatini's Prime Minister Russell Dlamini used a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Taipei Tuesday to reaffirm the kingdom's 50-plus-year diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Dlamini said he wished to make it clear that diplomatic relations with Taiwan remained a top priority for the government of Eswatini and the country's ruler, King Mswati III.

Dlamini added that he also wished to use his first visit as prime minister to thank Taiwan for assisting the Kingdom of Eswatini.

Eswatini is "grateful" and committed to a "strategic partnership" with Taiwan, as well as the country's vision and technical support, Dlamini said.

Dlamini, who was appointed to office on Nov. 3, 2023, said he would also use his first trip to Taiwan as prime minister to meet with Taiwanese engineers helping build an oil storage tank in Eswatini.

During the meeting at the Presidential Office, Tsai welcomed Dlamini, who serves as an adviser to King Mswati III.

"I am confident that this trip will enable you to experience Taiwan's rich culture and further deepen our bilateral friendship," Tsai said.

Tsai told Dlamini's delegation that she witnessed the signing of three MOUs during her last trip to Eswatini in September 2023.

Among these was an agreement to help the Eswantini build an oil storage tank capable of holding 30 days of reserves, according to Taiwan's government.

Tsai also thanked the Dlamini for supporting Taiwan's participation during the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in December 2023.

During his COP28 address, Dlamini said all countries should be part of the agreements and commitments on climate action.

"If countries like Taiwan have voluntarily committed for the sake of the planet and people without being a party to the negotiations, then the rest of us can," Dlamini said, adding that Eswatini calls for Taiwan's formal inclusion in future COP meetings.

Dlamini arrived in Taiwan on Monday, together with Eswatini's Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Prince Lonkhokhela and Prime Minister's Office Principal Secretary Bertram Stewart, among others.

Taiwan's government, however, did not disclose when the delegation would wrap up its trip.

Eswatini is one of only 12 states worldwide and the last in Africa to maintain diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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