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Honduras trip cancellation will not affect ties: president

Honduras trip cancellation will not affect ties: president

San Francisco, June 29 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou expressed his confidence Monday that the cancellation of his planned state visit to Honduras following a military coup in the country will not affect bilateral diplomatic ties.
Ma said aboard a chartered flight that would take him to Panama and Nicaragua that he believes Taiwan's diplomatic ties with Honduras will remain unchanged because all of the Central American country's political party factions hold the same views toward maintaining formal relations with Taiwan.
Ma also said that he will visit Honduras at an opportune time in the future, noting that it would be a good time to visit the country when the new Honduran president is sworn into office in January 2010.
Ma said that the cancellation of the Honduras leg of the trip in the wake of the overthrown of Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya by the Honduran military Sunday was based on considerations that Honduras will not be able to host foreign guests under the circumstances and on hopes that Taiwan's embassy in Honduras can dedicate all of their efforts to taking care of Taiwanese expatriates in the country.
President Ma also praised Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and national security authorities for staying on top of the latest developments in Honduras and quickly coming up with contingency plans.
Since taking office a year ago, Ma has visited seven countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Remarking on the visits, Ma said that the solid foundation of Taiwan's diplomatic friendships with its allies is not laid on "checkbook diplomacy, " but on the concept and practice of flexible diplomacy.
Under previous administrations, Taiwan and China had competed for diplomatic recognition, often by paying large amounts of money to the countries it was trying to woo, with some of the money going to those countries' politicians instead of towards developing the countries.
Ma has vowed to end the practice, insisting instead on truly helping Taiwan's allied countries develop.
Quoting the MOFA's most recent white paper on Taiwan's foreign aid policy, Ma said Taiwan should establish long term cooperative relations with its diplomatic allies based on the principles of equality, reciprocity, and mutual respect.
Ma also noted that "overseas assistance must have legitimate objectives, grant procedures must be in accordance with the law, and implementation must be effective and efficient." The president later arrived in San Francisco for a transit stop en route to Panama City and was greeted at the airport by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) honorary Chairman William Brown and Taiwan's Representative to the United States, Jason Yuan.
Upon his arrival at a hotel in San Francisco where he will stay, President Ma received a warm welcome from a number of Taiwanese expatriates in the area, but was also greeted with protest by many others.
Ma and his entourage will leave Tuesday for Panama for a three-day visit mainly to attend the inauguration of Panama's President-elect Ricardo Martinelli in Panama City Wednesday.
Following his trip to Panama, Ma will travel to Nicaragua where Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will take him to the hub of a bilateral technological cooperation project, which will allow Ma to interact with Nicaraguan citizens.
He will then stop in Hawaii July 5 on his way home and return to Taiwan on July 6.
(By Huang Juei-hung and Y.L. Kao)




Updated : 2021-08-01 06:46 GMT+08:00