On the morning of March 7, President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed Republic of Nauru President Baron Divavesi Waqa and Mrs. Waqa with full military honors. In addition to thanking Nauru for its longstanding support for Taiwan's quest to participate in international bodies, the president also expressed hope that the two countries will continue, in line with the spirit of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits," to promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation as well as a lasting alliance.
The welcome ceremony with military honors was carried out at 10:00 a.m. at the Main Plaza of the National Performing Arts Center. After a 21-gun salute and the performance of the national anthem of each country, President Tsai and President Waqa each delivered an address.
In remarks, President Tsai, on behalf of the people of Taiwan, welcomed President Waqa and his delegation to Taiwan for a state visit. She stated that the grand military ceremony shows the warmth and enthusiasm of the Taiwanese people and the great importance that we attach to our bilateral friendship. President Tsai also mentioned that President Waqa came to Taiwan to attend her inauguration in 2016, then in January 2017 he published an article thanking Taiwan for its cooperation, so it is apparent that, under his leadership, bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Nauru will be further enhanced.
Commenting on bilateral cooperation, President Tsai pointed out that agricultural cooperation between the two countries has yielded considerable achievements, and in the field of public health, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and Taichung Veterans General Hospital have provided medical support and assistance. Taiwan and Nauru are also carrying out cooperation projects in the field of renewable energy, including a project for the installation of solar panels on government buildings and schools in Nauru.
President Tsai also thanked Nauru for speaking out on Taiwan's behalf for many years in the international community. When we have sought meaningful participation in various international organizations, Nauru and other diplomatic allies have always supported Taiwan and made sure that our country has had opportunities to contribute to the international community, she said.
President Tsai noted that President and Mrs. Waqa have arranged visits throughout Taiwan in order to have closer interactions with the people here and develop a better understanding of conditions in Taiwan. She also expressed confidence that the two countries, in line with the spirit of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits," will work hand in hand for continued enhancement of bilateral relations.
Shortly after the welcoming ceremony, President Tsai met with President and Mrs. Waqa at the Presidential Office, and stated that President Waqa is an old friend of Taiwan who is now visiting for the 13th time. Such close ties show the great importance that President Waqa and the Nauru government attach to friendship with Taiwan, and this helps to improve bilateral relations.
President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan and Nauru have maintained close cooperative ties for many years in such fields as agricultural technology, public health, clean energy, and education, and meaningful successes have been achieved.
Nauru has long lent Taiwan its firm support and spoken out on our country's behalf at numerous international venues. It has supported Taiwan's quest to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), sent a letter on Taiwan's behalf to the UN Secretary-General, and spoken in support of Taiwan at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly and the UNFCCC's joint High-Level Segment of COP 22/CMP 12/CMA1 . President Tsai once again conveyed her sincere gratitude for this support and expressed hope that Taiwan and Nauru can further enhance their exchanges and have even closer bilateral ties. She also called for a bright future for the two countries and a lasting alliance between them.
In remarks of his own, President Waqa thanked President Tsai and the Taiwan government for warmly welcoming him to Taiwan with military honors, and said he was very happy to be back visiting Taiwan again so soon after his trip here last year to attend President Tsai's inauguration. This visit, he stated, affords an opportunity to better understand the state of development in Taiwan and observe the tremendous progress that Taiwan has achieved at home and in its deep diplomatic ties – progress that has gained increased recognition and support within the international community. In addition, January 31 of next year (2018) will mark the 50th anniversary of Nauru's independence, and the people of Nauru are hard at work on preparations for the celebration, so President Waqa said he hoped to invite President Tsai to take part in the festivities. The people of Nauru will never forget Taiwan's support and assistance. Looking to the future, President Waqa expressed hope that Taiwan and Nauru can further enhance their bilateral relations and maintain a lasting friendship.
Also included in the delegation were Nauru Ambassador to the ROC Chitra Jeremiah and her husband.