MOFA official meets with Marshall Islands president

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) met with Marshall Islands President David Kabua on Monday after attending his inauguration to reaffirm their shared values and deepen bilateral relations.

Hsu met with Kabua after the inauguration, which was attended by more than 300 foreign and local dignitaries, and personally conveyed Taiwan‘s congratulations to the new leader, Taiwan‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement.

The diplomat emphasized that Taiwan and the Marshall Islands shared the values of freedom and democracy, and reiterated Taiwan‘s resolve to deepen its relation with the Pacific nation, MOFA said.

It did not offer any other details of the meeting, other than to say it touched on the future direction of bilateral cooperation.

Meanwhile, in Kabua’s address, he stressed the importance of continuing to enhance the Marshall Islands’ cooperation with traditional allies such as Taiwan, the United States and Japan, according to the ministry.

Kabua is the son of the Marshall Islands’ first president, Amata Kabua. He previously served as the minister of health and internal affairs.

Hsu left for the Marshall Islands with a delegation on Jan. 18 and is set to return on Jan. 23.

According to MOFA, Hsu attended the launch ceremony for a nutrition enhancement program on Saturday and a ceremony celebrating the donation of power supply systems to a local hospital on Monday.

Hsu is also scheduled to meet with Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Casten Nemra and Legislative Speaker Kenneth Kedi, MOFA said.

The Marshall Islands is one of Taiwan‘s four remaining diplomatic allies in the Pacific, along with Palau, Nauru and Tuvalu, after the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in September 2019.

Those defections have only made Taiwan more sensitive to elections in allied countries and their implications for bilateral ties.

Kabua, who was elected president for a four-year term by the national legislature by a 20-12 vote with one abstention on Jan. 6, has pledged support the Marshall Islands’ diplomatic ties with Taiwan since being elected, according to MOFA.

(By Emerson Lim)


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