Solomons-Taiwan link lauded

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Prime Minister Sogavare with Ambassador Luo and Mrs Luo.

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Roger Tien-hung Luo have praised the relationship between their two countries and vowed to take it to greater heights.

The accolade and expression of commitment regarding the Solomon Islands-Taiwan relationship were echoed last night at a function hosted by the Taiwanese Embassy to celebrate the formal commencement of duty by Ambassador Luo.

Ambassador Luo took up his Solomon Islands posting last month, succeeding Ambassador Victor Te-sun Yu who completed his term of office in December 2016.

In a government statement, Prime Minister Sogavare said, “Our friendship has a special standing in our hearts and one which is uniquely twined. The manner in which this relationship is played out is deeply rooted on the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights.”

Ambassador Luo and Mrs Luo with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka.

He said these shared values and principles have been grounded on mutual trust and reciprocity which enables the Solomon Islands and Taiwanese Governments to adhere to the development aspirations and wellbeing of their citizens.

Prime Minister Sogavare said it is also these shared values and principles that will continue to guide the Solomon Islands-Taiwan relationship through the momentous changes which are occurring in the world.

He said he was delighted to join in the programme celebrating the formal commencement of duty by His Excellency Luo and assured the ambassador of the Solomon Islands Government commitment to cooperate with his office to advance the relationship for the benefit of both Solomon Islands and Taiwan.

Cabinet Ministers and the City Mayor.

The Prime Minister said since the arrival of Ambassador Luo in the country last month, he was pleased to have the opportunity of reiterating the need for an even more close relationship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan in front of a formal audience.

He also took the opportunity to express appreciation for the ‘worthy assistance’ that Taiwan has provided to Solomon Islands over the years in different areas including health, infrastructure, agriculture, rural development, and education and human resources.

The Prime Minister said Solomon Islands is grateful for the assistances which not only benefits the people of Solomon Islands but also stands as a testimony of the close relationship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan.

He also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to have had the opportunity of paying a state visit to Taiwan in 2016.

The Prime Minister said this visit is yet another testimony of the close-knit friendship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan.

Ambassador Luo in his remarks, said Solomon Islands remains one of Taiwan’s most valued allies since their establishment of diplomatic ties in 1983.

He said Taiwan appreciates Solomon Islands’ staunch support for its participation in the international community over the past 34 years.

Ambassador Luo said he was deeply touched by remarks made by Prime Minister Sogavare during their first meeting.

The Prime Minister told Ambassador Luo during that Solomon Islands has a unique relationship with Taiwan and the manner in which Solomon Islands deals with Taiwan is based on the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights and Solomon Islands regards it a moral duty to support Taiwan.

Ambassador Luo said he firmly believe Taiwan’s relations with Solomon Islands will continue to grow from strength to strength in the coming years.

On that note, he said, “As Taiwan’s new envoy, I vow to take our friendship to a new height and to bring about tangible and beneficial achievements that outlive my tour of duty.

“I will spare no efforts to strengthen our long-standing cordial relations and to enhance the welfare of our peoples. In order to fulfill my pledge, I am also counting on your kind support and cooperation.”