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President Tsai attends official welcome ceremony in Nauru and confers Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon upon President Waqa
President Tsai attends official welcome ceremony in Nauru and confers Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon upon President Waqa

On the morning of March 25 local time (early morning of March 25 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen and her Oceans of Democracy delegation arrived at the Nauru government buildings to attend Nauru's official welcome ceremony and confer the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon upon President Baron Waqa.

The ceremony opened with a traditional welcoming dance performed by Nauruan students. President Tsai then accepted a feather necklace from Miss Nauru. After a performance of the two countries' national anthems, President Tsai and President Waqa inspected a police force honor guard.

In his remarks, President Waqa began by welcoming President Tsai and her delegation to Nauru, and pointed out that Taiwan and Nauru are bonded by our shared responsibility to uphold and respect the universal values of peace, freedom, democracy, and human rights. He expressed his sincere thanks for all of the assistance Taiwan has provided to Nauru, and said that the Nauruan government will continue to advocate for Taiwan's full participation and inclusion at all international meetings to ensure that we advance together, and "leave no one behind." He then expressed hope that our bilateral relations will endure and grow stronger.

In her remarks that followed, President Tsai first thanked President Waqa and all our Nauruan friends for the warm welcome. She stated that President Waqa has visited Taiwan in each of the last three years, and she was pleased to reciprocate this year by traveling to Nauru.

President Tsai pointed out that before embarking on her journey, she saw a welcome message recorded by President Waqa posted on Facebook by Nauruan media. She expressed her deep appreciation for the importance that Nauru attaches to relations with Taiwan, as well as the hospitality that Nauru has shown us.

President Tsai thanked President Waqa for his invitation, and conferred upon him the highest honor of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on behalf of the Taiwanese people. She stated that this honor represented President Waqa's outstanding contributions to elevating bilateral relations between our countries, and symbolized Taiwan's heartfelt gratitude.

The president pointed out that President Waqa and Taiwan are "better than best friends", and that for many years, he and the government of Nauru have spoken up for Taiwan at countless international venues, expressing staunch support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations. President Tsai said that she was particularly impressed by President Waqa's words of support for Taiwan at last year's Pacific Islands Forum.

President Tsai stated that on this state visit she will witness the signing of an agreement on coast guard collaboration. In the future, she said, Taiwan and Nauru will not only engage in joint endeavors on land in fields such as agriculture, healthcare, talent cultivation, and clean energy; we will also expand our cooperation to maritime search and rescue and law enforcement operations at sea.

President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan and Nauru are both members of the vast Pacific Ocean community. We share common democratic values, and jointly safeguard the sustainable development of the marine environment. These characteristics fully align with the theme of our visit, "Oceans of Democracy," she said.

The president said that she looked forward to the activities planned for her visit, as well as in-depth discussions with President Waqa and all of our Nauruan friends on marine issues. She then thanked them once again for their enthusiastic welcome and superb hospitality.

Nauruan students then sang a welcoming song, and President Waqa presented President Tsai with Nauruan stamps, commemorating her state visit.

The welcome ceremony was followed by a decoration ceremony. After the master of ceremonies recited the commendation, President Tsai conferred the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon on President Waqa, recognizing his efforts and contributions to enhancing cooperation and friendship between Taiwan and Nauru.

President Tsai and President Waqa then held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral cooperation.

Among those attending the event from Nauru were Minister Assisting the President David Adeang, several cabinet ministers, Police Commissioner Corey Caleb, and Nauru Ambassador to the ROC (Taiwan) Chitra Jeremiah. Representing Taiwan were Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), other delegation members, and Ambassador to Nauru Chow Chin-fa (周進發).

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