On the morning of March 12, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Commander in Chief of the Nicaraguan Army General Julio Cesar Aviles Castillo. In addition to recounting successes through cooperation in military affairs, economic and trade ties, agriculture, and healthcare, the president also expressed hope that Taiwan and Nicaragua will continue to enhance bilateral exchanges and friendship.
President Tsai opened her remarks by welcoming Commander in Chief Aviles, and noted that the general is an old friend of Taiwan who was visiting for the fourth time, which shows how much the Nicaraguan government values Taiwan and the bilateral friendship.
The president also noted that Nicaragua showed its concern following a major earthquake in Hualien County this past February. Soon after the tragedy occurred, the Nicaraguan government and General Aviles both wrote to express their condolences, and on behalf of the people of Taiwan, President Tsai expressed her deepest gratitude for these warm gestures.
The president emphasized that Taiwan and Nicaragua have cooperated for many years to pursue progress and development. When she was in Nicaragua last year, the president visited various cooperative projects to gain a greater understanding of the latest developments. She further noted that the two countries have many achievements through bilateral cooperation in military affairs, economic and trade ties, agriculture, and healthcare.
The president stated that since becoming commander in chief, General Aviles has made Taiwan-Nicaragua military exchanges a priority. Last year, for example, former Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) visited Nicaragua, where he held in-depth discussions with General Aviles on a wide range of military matters, and signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to facilitate even closer bilateral military exchanges.
President Tsai then pointed out that during this visit by General Aviles, Taiwan will honor him with the Order of Resplendent Banner with Special Grand Cordon to affirm, and express gratitude for, all he has done to promote bilateral military cooperation. The president expressed hope that General Aviles will also gain a better understanding of recent developments in Taiwan, and continue to upgrade bilateral cooperative ties.
The president further emphasized that Taiwan and Nicaragua are important allies that support each other in the international community. She recalled that during her visit to Nicaragua last year, President Daniel Ortega and the First Lady expressed strong support for Taiwan's accession to international organizations. President Tsai thanked Nicaragua for its support, and said she hopes that frequent interactions between the two countries will encourage more cooperation and exchanges, and enhance diplomatic ties.
President Tsai closed her remarks by once again welcoming General Aviles to Taiwan, and asked him to convey best wishes from Taiwan to President and Mrs. Ortega, and wished her visitors a smooth and successful trip.