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President to visit Sao Tome and Principe, Honduras (update)

President to visit Sao Tome and Principe, Honduras (update)

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou will visit African ally Sao Tome and Principe and also attend the inauguration ceremony of Honduran president-elect Juan Orlando Hernandez on a diplomatic tour slated for late January, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday. The island nation of Sao Tome and Principe is the only diplomatic ally of the Republic of China (Taiwan) that Ma has not yet visited during his more than five years as Taiwan's president. After visiting Sao Tome and Principe, Ma is scheduled to visit Burkina Faso, another of Taiwan's African diplomatic allies, before traveling to Honduras, said Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko at a news conference. The trip is aimed at consolidating Taiwan's ties with Sao Tome and Principe and Honduras, Ko said, adding that it will also be an opportunity for the president to gain first-hand understanding of the progress of Taiwan's cooperative projects with its allies. Ma planned to visit Sao Tome and Principe during a previous trip to Africa in April 2012 but was unable to because Sao Tome and Principe President Manuel Pinto da Costa was unavailable to meet him at the time. When Sao Tome Premier Gabriel da Costa visited Taiwan last November, he presented a letter from Pinto da Costa to Ma inviting him to visit the African country. During the Jan. 23-30 trip, Ma will also visit Honduras, one of Taiwan's six diplomatic allies in Central America, to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony on Jan. 27. The delegation members will include Foreign Minister David Lin, other government officials, lawmakers and representatives from the business and academic communities, according to the Foreign Ministry. Ko said the ministry is still arranging transit and refueling stops for the delegation, and said that further details will be announced at a later date. (By Kelven Huang and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-07-25 22:11 GMT+08:00