New Taipei, Jaluit Atoll ink pact on sisterhood ties

New Taipei and Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands inks sisterhood pack Sunday.

New Taipei and Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands inks sisterhood pack Sunday. (CNA photo)

New Taipei and Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands inked a pack on establishing sisterhood ties Sunday, a step forward in building deeper relations between the two sides.

Witnessed by Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and Jaluit Atoll Mayor Alington Robert signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at New Taipei City Hall.

Stressing that her current visit to Taiwan is aimed at stepping up bilateral relations, Heine said her country needs to upgrade and sharpen its economic foundation to create employment.

She called for closer economic ties between the two island nations and said she will continue to speak out for Taiwan internationally and share her country's stories with Taiwan's people.

For his part, Hou praised Marshall Islands' election as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, describing it as internationally recognized proof of the country's contributions to human rights and democracy.

He expressed hope that the two countries will continue to fight for human rights and democracy, and to achieve progress on severe climate change, which is an issue faced by both island nations.

Heine, accompanied by Marshall Islands Foreign Minister John M. Silk and Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce Dennis P. Momotaro, arrived in Taiwan Thursday for a four-day visit.

Witnessed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Heine, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Silk signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation at the Presidential Office Friday.

Also on Friday, Heine witnessed the signing of an MOU between the Office of Commerce, Investment and Tourism (OCIT) of the Marshall Islands and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) on the promotion of bilateral trade and tourism.

The Marshall Islands is one of Taiwan's 15 diplomatic allies and one of four in the Pacific.