Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu attended the inauguration of President Surangel Whipps Jr. and Vice President J. Uduch Sengebau Senior Jan. 21 in Palau, underscoring the strength of relations between Taiwan and its Western Pacific ally.
Wu, serving as President Tsai Ing-wen’s special envoy and head of the Taiwan delegation, was received by Whipps and Senior shortly after the swearing-in ceremony witnessed by foreign dignitaries such as ROC (Taiwan) Ambassador Wallace M. G. Chow, Japan Ambassador Akira Karasawa and U.S. Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland.
During the meeting, Wu, Whipps and Senior discussed ways of deepening friendship and expanding bilateral ties. Whipps, who described Taiwan as a staunch ally and development partner, pledged to advance cooperation in key areas like agriculture, health care and tourism, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The day before, Wu was received by outgoing President Tommy Remengesau Jr. He presented his letter of credence as Tsai’s special envoy before conveying the government and people of Taiwan’s sincere appreciation for the support of Remengesau during his 16 years in office.
In response, Remengesau thanked Taiwan for playing a central role in the development of Palau since the countries established official ties in 1999.
Taiwan provided essential medical items, equipment and services to Palau following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Remengesau said. This bolstered the country’s response to the pandemic and touched the hearts of the people, he added.
Wu, who also took part in the opening of the Taiwan-backed Ngaraard State Community Center, attended the Inauguration Ball and visited UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rock Islands Southern Lagoon with Taiwan tourism industry representatives during his visit, is scheduled to return Jan. 22 to Taiwan. (SFC-E)
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