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Guatemalan president re-affirms ties with Taiwan

Radio Taiwan International, Taiwan

Guatemalan president re-affirms ties with Taiwan

20 June 2007

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger says his country will maintain ties with Taiwan. He was meeting with Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian on Wednesday when he made the pledge.

The pledge comes at a crucial time for Taiwan, not long after Costa Rica switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, leaving Taiwan with just 24 allies.

President Chen said that ties between Taiwan and Guatemala have grown increasingly close since last July. That’s when the two countries signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Chen said that Guatemala has shown true friendship at a time when Taiwan is facing a grim situation in the international community.

Berger was also enthusiastic about the Taiwan-Guatemala FTA signed last year. He said the FTA has created more job opportunities and more possibilities for cooperation between the two countries. Berger is expected to sign three more cooperative agreements with Chen this week.

Vice President Annette Lu will visit Latin America and the Caribbean early next month to further shore up ties in the region.