During a meeting on the morning of February 23 with Mayor Nayib Bukele of San Salvador, the capital of the Republic of El Salvador, President Tsai Ing-wen said she hoped that the sister-city relationship between Taipei and San Salvador will enhance bilateral cooperation and exchanges so that people on both sides can reap the rewards of mutual assistance for mutual benefits. The president also asked Mayor Bukele to convey her best regards to Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, and expressed hope that she might have an opportunity to host President Sanchez someday in Taiwan.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that she just visited El Salvador last month and met with President Sanchez in San Salvador, and said she was delighted to be meeting again so soon with friends from El Salvador. Noting this was Mayor Bukele's first visit to Taiwan, President Tsai extended him a warm welcome on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan.
President Tsai pointed out that Taipei and San Salvador established a sister-city relationship in 1993 and have enjoyed very close ties for many years. She took the opportunity to thank Mayor Bukele for making the long trip to attend the Smart City Summit & Expo and share his experience in the area of urban development. His presence here demonstrates the deep bonds of friendship that exist between Taiwan and El Salvador, she said.
President Tsai noted that Mayor Bukele is an outstanding young political leader who took office as mayor of San Salvador at the age of 34. In addition to enhancing his city's infrastructure, he has actively promoted care services for the elderly as well as women, children and the disadvantaged, and is working to provide opportunities for participation in public affairs.
President Tsai said she was very happy to have Mayor Bukele taking part in the Smart City Summit & Expo, since he certainly had much to contribute. While in Taiwan, she noted, the mayor has had opportunities to discuss clean cities, public safety, tourism, and other such topics, and has visited the Taipei City Government to learn about methods of governance here. The president expressed confidence that such interaction will have certainly been very beneficial for both sides, and will have also helped to deepen the ties of friendship.
President Tsai pointed out that in the 17th century the Spanish built a fortress called San Salvador on Heping Island, which lies just offshore from the city of Keelung on Taiwan's northeast coast. Through an odd twist of historical fate, both Taiwan and El Salvador have had locations that share the same place name, and over the years a deep friendship has formed between the two countries. Hopefully, said the president, the two will have even more cooperation and exchanges in the future.
President Tsai also asked Mayor Bukele to convey her best regards to President Sanchez. She expressed hope that she might have an opportunity to host President Sanchez someday in Taiwan, and to talk with him about public health and education as well as economic, trade, and investment relations. More discussions and cooperation, she said, will enable people on the two sides to reap the rewards of mutual assistance for mutual benefits.
And finally, President Tsai again conveyed her welcome to Mayor Bukele, and wished him a smooth trip. She also called for a lasting alliance between the two countries, and even stronger cooperative relations in the future.