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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou hopes Taiwan, Panama will continue cooperation

Ma congratulates Panama's President-elect Martinelli, expresses hope for closer friendship

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou sent a message to Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli soon after the latter won the presidential election in the Central American country Sunday, while its ambassador in Panama said he believes Martinelli's election will not lead to major changes in bilateral relations. According to a Republic of China embassy official who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ma delivered his congratulations and expressed willingness to continue promoting relations between the two countries following Martinelli's inauguration.
The official said Ma faxed his congratulatory letter to the embassy and instructed that it be hand-delivered to the president-elect.
According to the official, Ma described Martinelli's victory as representing the Panamanian people's support and their hope for change in Panama, which he promised during his election campaign. Ma also expressed hope for closer friendship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, ROC Ambassador to Panama Simon S.Y. Ko said in an interview with CNA that he expects Taiwan-Panama relations will not undergo a big change under the government led by Martinelli, a businessman-turned-politician of the opposition Alliance for Change.
The embassy has always kept links with every political party, especially those that could possibly assume power, Ko said, referring to Martinelli's party.
As a result, "our cooperation with the Panamanian government will continue," he said.