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President Tsai welcomes King Mswati III and Inkhosikati LaMashwama of Eswatini with full military honors
President Tsai welcomes King Mswati III and Inkhosikati LaMashwama of Eswatini with full military honors

On the morning of October 21, President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed King Mswati III and Inkhosikati (Queen) LaMashwama of the Kingdom of Eswatini with full military honors on their latest visit to Taiwan. The president said that she looks forward to our nations exchanging opinions on bilateral cooperation in order to jointly spur new development.

The welcome ceremony was held at 10:30 am in the plaza fronting the Presidential Office Building. President Tsai and King Mswati III each delivered remarks after a 21-gun salute and the playing of the two countries' national anthems.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I welcome King Mswati III as His Majesty leads a delegation to Taiwan once again. Last Thursday, Taiwan loosened its border restrictions and we very much look forward to welcoming more international friends to Taiwan. Today, I am delighted to receive His Majesty the King and the esteemed members of his delegation.

In recent years, Taiwan and Eswatini have supported each other and faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic together. Our nations' cooperation is also growing closer. Now, as we reopen our doors to the world, Taiwan is taking a major stride toward resuming life as normal. On this occasion, Your Majesty rejoins us after an interval of four years, so we have been very much looking froward to this meeting. We hope that through this opportunity, our nations can exchange views on all aspects of our bilateral cooperation to jointly spur new development.

In closing, I once again welcome King Mswati III and wish the delegation a fruitful and successful visit. Thank you!

A transcript of King Mswati III's remarks follows:

Your Excellency, this day marks my 18th visit to this beautiful country, which has been our true and trusted friend for so many years. I'm grateful for your kind invitation to visit Taiwan once again, which has become our home away from home. Let me take this opportunity to thank Your Excellency, the government, and the people of Taiwan, for the warm and wonderful reception extended to me, Inkhosikati, and my entire delegation since our arrival. Visits of this magnitude are vital for the strengthening and renewing of our mutual friendships, that happily exist between our two countries.

We note with appreciation that we come here when the world over has eased travel restrictions after the hard impact of COVID-19. We thank God that this pandemic is coming to an end and we hope that the last remaining stretch of the virus will soon be over.

We've also come here shortly after the people of Taiwan celebrated their 111th independence [National Day] celebration. This is a commendable achievement, and we wish to congratulate the president, the government, and the people of this great nation. This is not just a milestone for the people of Taiwan, but also marks 54 years of healthy diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Eswatini and Taiwan. Your country was one of the first countries to open diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Eswatini at independence 54 years ago. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has not only been cordial, but solid enough to withstand the test of time through thick and thin. It is based on national interest and equal partnership. This partnership has benefited our two countries and people immensely. 

What has kept us together all these years is a relationship that is built on a strong bond of friendship, respect, shared values, and trust between our peoples. A true friend is one that comforts you during a time of difficulty and sorrow. Taiwan has been a friend of all citizens of the Kingdom. This is why we have also been there and stood by your side at all times.

We do note the growing tensions that are emerging in various parts of the world, which are a great concern to all mankind. We pray and hope that this will be addressed urgently by the United Nations. We will continue to advocate for the admission of Taiwan to the UN family to enable her to participate freely and more effectively, particularly in growth of the world's technology, aviation, and health systems, among others. 

The longer Taiwan is not allowed to be a member of the UN family, the longer the world is deprived of vital components of global evolution. The United Nations should speak with one voice and recognize that Taiwan has a lot to share with the international community. This country can contribute to the welfare of mankind, as we are all working towards inclusive societies and the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Our presence here should assure the president, the government, and the people of Taiwan that Eswatini is committed to giv[ing] support and solidarity to our friends. Once again, thank you for extending this invitation. And we look forward to the program prepared by the government. I thank you. May the Almighty God bless us all. Xiexie.

Also in attendance at the welcome ceremony were Eswatini Ambassador Promise Msibi and other members of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan.

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