Tuesday, September 08, 2009

President Ma Meets Minister Bousquet

President Ma Ying-jeou met with Saint Lucia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment Rufus Bousquet and Mrs. Bousquet at the Presidential Office on the afternoon of September 1. The president, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC (Taiwan), extended a cordial welcome to the Bousquets and members of the delegation accompanying them on their visit to Taiwan.
President Ma commented that the ROC and Saint Lucia established diplomatic relations in 1984. While relations between the two countries were severed in 1997, formal ties were re-established in 2007. Over the past two years, significant progress has been seen in agricultural and computer-related cooperation projects between the two countries, he said. The president acknowledged Saint Lucia's donation of US$100,000 in the wake of the disaster caused by Typhoon Morakot, adding that the people of Taiwan will always remember this gesture. President Ma also said that in the course of the ROC's quest to participate in international organizations, Saint Lucia has spoken on behalf of Taiwan on many occasions. He stated that the support of Saint Lucia was a major reason why Taiwan was able to attend this year's World Health Assembly as an observer, and specially thanked Saint Lucia in this regard.
The president remarked that while Saint Lucia has a population of only 170,000, it has produced two Nobel Prize recipients, which attests to the excellent education and unique training provided to students in that country. The president said that in addition to the existing agriculture and information technology cooperation projects, the ROC is pleased to share its developmental experience with Saint Lucia in a variety of national and community development projects. He stressed that interaction and cooperation between the two countries will not be adversely impacted by improvement in relations between Taiwan and mainland China. Rather, President Ma said that he hopes to see cooperative relations between Taiwan and Saint Lucia be further expanded in the future.
Minister Bousquet, on behalf of Prime Minister Stephenson King, expressed his sympathies to Taiwan in relation to the August 8 disaster here. He said that the people of Saint Lucia are deeply moved by the many efforts made by the ROC over the years to assist in his nation's development, adding that the people of his country are willing to lend support to the people of Taiwan in their hour of need. In the future, Saint Lucia will continue to support Taiwan's participation in the international community, he said. Minister Bousquet also expressed his hopes that cooperation between the two countries will become even more comprehensive, helping to forge even closer relations and a stronger alliance in the future.
Minister Bousquet and Mrs. Bousquet were accompanied to the Presidential Office by Joseph Y. L. Kuo, Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Central & South American Affairs, to meet President Ma. Also in attendance were Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco H. L. Ou and National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Ho Szu-yin.
Source: News Releases - Office of the President
Republic of China
2009 - 09 - 01

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