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President Ma's morning itinerary on his first day in Haiti

Completing his two-day visit to the Dominican Republic, President Ma Ying-jeou at 8:00 a.m. local time on July 14 (8:00 p.m. July 14 Taipei time) boarded his chartered plane to Haiti. After a nearly one-hour flight the president and his delegation on the Forever Rising Project arrived at the Haitian capital's Port-au-Prince International Airport at 9:00 a.m. local time (9:00 p.m. July 14 Taipei time).

Upon landing, ROC Ambassador to Haiti Peter Hwang (黃再求) and Chief of Protocol Yves Mazile of Haiti's National Palace boarded the aircraft to welcome the president. Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly was on the tarmac to welcome President Ma when he disembarked, and also accompanied him down a red carpet where he was welcomed with military honors. Haiti's National Police marching band then played the national anthems of the two countries, giving the ROC delegation a cordial welcome.

After the ceremonies, President Ma left the airport and headed to the Haitian National Pantheon Museum (Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, MUPANAH) where he placed a commemorative wreath. After touring the collection at the memorial, the president inscribed in the guest book "A Lasting Alliance, Haiti-ROC Forever Rising" showing just how much the ROC cherishes the bilateral friendship.

Having attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the Supreme Court Building when he visited Haiti in August 2013, on this trip the president attended the building's ribbon cutting ceremony. Accompanied by President Martelly, President Ma walked from the MUPANAH to the Supreme Court Building where they, along with Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul, President of the Supreme Court Jules Cantave, Senate President Andris Riche, Cardinal Chibly Langlois, and other judges from various courts in Haiti bore witness to the cooperative achievement of the two nations.

In remarks, President Martelly and Cardinal Langlois expressed concern for the victims of the recent powder explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in northern Taiwan by inviting everyone to rise and pray for the injured and their families. President Ma in return expressed his gratitude to the government and people of Haiti for their concern and good wishes.

President Ma then mentioned that after a major earthquake hit Haiti on January 15, 2010 a rescue team from the ROC departed for the Caribbean nation in less than 12 hours. Arriving in the disaster zone at a critical juncture to mount search and rescue operations, the ROC team successfully rescued numerous survivors. This, the president said, was the best example ever of overseas rescue assistance provided by a rescue team from the ROC.

President Ma also stated that he deeply admires President Martelly's decision to prioritize the reconstruction of the Supreme Court Building over the National Palace, as well as the people of Haiti for the determination they have shown in the course of reconstruction.

The president stated that the ROC, in an effort to assist Haiti in its reconstruction, has provided assistance and cooperated with the Haitian government on many fronts including public health, shelter for and settlement of disaster victims, vocational training and employment assistance, as well as support for children. To date, nine major cooperative infrastructure and agricultural projects have been completed. In addition to that day's inauguration of the new Supreme Court Building, other projects that have been completed include the New Hope Village in Savane Diane (in which 215 permanent homes were built) and the repair of an extended section of Avenue Mais Gate.

President Ma also mentioned that President Martelly has strived to promote his "5 Es" policy—Education, Employment, Environment, Rule of Law (Etat de droit), and Energy, and that he is quite impressed by President Martelly's determination to turn Haiti into a nation governed by rule of law.

President Ma told those in attendance that during Cardinal Langlois's previous visit to the ROC, the Cardinal presented him with a painting symbolizing the Haitian people titled "The Nameless Slave." Earlier in the day the president paid his respects to the founders of Haiti at the MUPANAH, coming to a fuller appreciation of the sacrifices that the people of Haiti made in order to achieve independence.

President Ma emphasized that the ROC and Haiti are the best of friends, and that throughout the course of Haiti's reconstruction, the ROC will make every effort to provide assistance in the hope that Haitians can return to their homes as soon as possible.

In closing, the president extended his best wishes for prosperity for Haiti, and for a long-lasting alliance between the two countries.

At noon, President Ma headed to Haiti's National Palace to hold bilateral talks with President Martelly, after which the two held a joint press conference with both heads of state explaining the substance of the discussions and matters related to bilateral cooperation.

When President Ma spoke, he first explained the post-disaster assistance the ROC provided to Haiti and emphasized that the ROC is dedicated to continuing its contributions throughout the long reconstruction process to help Haiti rebuild.

The president also remarked that last year President Martelly held an investment recruitment seminar during a visit to the ROC, and that a Taiwan garment factory has already made an investment in Haiti that is doing quite well. In addition, the ROC is actively promoting the use of solar power overseas, and the president said that given Haiti's abundant sunshine, the ROC hopes to help promote solar power to reduce costs associated with importing energy.

President Ma stated that in addition to officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from economic- and agricultural-related agencies have joined him on this visit, looking to take advantage of this opportunity to map out future bilateral cooperation projects. The ROC, he said, is pleased to provide humanitarian aid. Wherever an opportunity presents itself, the ROC will definitely do everything it can, he said.

The president also responded to questions from the Haitian media as to whether there will be further bilateral cooperation projects in addition to the current educational and agricultural assistance provided by the ROC. President Ma reiterated that the ROC government would be very happy to utilize solar power-related equipment to assist Haiti in its development, and vocational education is another possible area of cooperation. He said, the ROC is also willing to continue to provide Haiti with assistance on a regular basis to cultivate talent and enhance the standard of the labor force, adding that he is confident that this will benefit the Caribbean nation's development.

President Ma visits Haiti on journey codenamed Forever Rising Project. (01)
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