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President Lee Welcomes King Mswati III of Swaziland

President Lee Teng-hui this morning presided over an official welcoming ceremony for King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland and his delegation who arrived in Taiwan for a six-day state visit.

The ceremony was held at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei. After a 21-gun salute to King Mswati III and the playing of the national anthems of Swaziland and the ROC, President Lee accompanied the king to review an honor guard in front of the hall.

In his welcoming speech, President Lee, on behalf of the ROC's government and people, extended a warm welcome to King Mswati III who is on his third visit to this country. The full text of the President's welcoming speech is as follows:

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are exceedingly honoured to have Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness and other members of your delegation visit us once again, during this glorious month of October. On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China, I extend my warmest and heartiest welcome to Your Majesty and your distinguished delegation.

The Kingdom of Swaziland is one of the Republic of China's closest friends in the international community, and our two countries have enjoyed formal diplomatic relations since 1968, following your independence. Under the outstanding leadership of the late King Sobhuza II and Your Majesty, our friendship has grown from strength to strength. I believe that Your Majesty's visit to this country, a cross-continent journey via the United States and Portugal, will open a new chapter in the history of our friendship and further consolidate the close and cordial ties between our two countries.

Your Majesty, I have enjoyed and benefited tremendously from our many previous conversations. I am looking forward to the pleasure of exchanging views, once again with you, on international developments, regional issues and matters of common concern. I am confident that our discussions will further enhance mutual understanding between our two countries and infuse new energy to our bonds of mutual cooperation.

Finally, on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China, may I wish Your Majesty, as well as Your Royal Highness and all our distinguished guests, a very pleasant and fruitful stay in my country. Thank you.

For his part, King Mswati III said that he felt glad to meet again with his old friends in the ROC, and he expressed his appreciation to the ROC government for the warm hospitality accorded him and his delegation.

The Swazi king also reiterated his hope to seek ways and means to strengthen economic cooperation between the ROC and Swaziland under the principles of mutual trust, understanding and respect.

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