On the morning of October 11, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Saint Lucia's President of the Senate Andy Daniel and Speaker of the House of Assembly Leonne Theodore-John. In addition to welcoming the visitors, who came to attend the national day celebrations, President Tsai also expressed gratitude for their support for the diplomatic alliance between Taiwan and Saint Lucia, and hope for an even deeper and closer bilateral friendship.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that this was Senate President Daniel's first visit to Taiwan, while Speaker Theodore-John last visited 16 years before. President Tsai expressed confidence that the previous day's national day celebrations had no doubt afforded her guests a deeper understanding of Taiwan.
President Tsai also stated that, just as the national day celebrations demonstrated, Taiwan has made the transition to democracy, and has a developed economy and multifaceted culture. She expressed hope that Taiwan's experiences and special characteristics will provide the two countries with food for thought on how to develop an even more diversified range of cooperation projects.
The president pointed out that Taiwan and Saint Lucia enjoy close cooperation in fields such as agriculture, fisheries, information, communications, education, public health, and medical care. One example is the Banana Black Sigatoka Disease Prevention and Treatment Project, which Taiwan helped to implement. The project effectively revived the banana industry in Saint Lucia, which is now the only banana-exporting country in the Caribbean. She said that, as a cooperative partner with Saint Lucia, Taiwan is happy to carry on with the principles of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits" to further strengthen cooperation and exchanges.
President Tsai also expressed her gratitude to Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet for speaking out at the UN General Assembly this past September in praise of Taiwan's ability to contribute to the international community. She added that Taiwan has the ability and desire to be a responsible member of the international community.
The president also thanked Senate President Daniel and Speaker Theodore-John for their support for the diplomatic alliance between the two countries. As heads of their respective chambers, they are the most important leaders of Saint Lucia's parliament. President Tsai expressed confidence that reciprocal visits by political leaders will enhance dialogue, thus bringing about a deeper and closer friendship between Taiwan and Saint Lucia.