On the morning of November 29, President Tsai Ing-wen officially welcomed Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre of Saint Lucia and Ms. Marie Felix with full military honors. In remarks, President Tsai expressed hope that Taiwan and Saint Lucia will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation across all fields, jointly seizing opportunities presented by the global economic recovery to advance the well-being of our peoples.
The welcome ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. in the plaza fronting the Presidential Office. President Tsai and Prime Minister Pierre each delivered remarks after a 19-gun salute and the playing of the two countries' national anthems.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I am delighted to receive Prime Minister Pierre with full military honors. On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I extend my sincerest welcome to Prime Minister Pierre and his delegation.
Saint Lucia is a staunch diplomatic ally of Taiwan in the Caribbean, and shares our values of freedom and democracy. During this visit, Prime Minister Pierre and I will conduct an in-depth exchange of views on international developments and issues of mutual concern, including climate change and youth economy.
I hope Taiwan and Saint Lucia will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation across all fields, jointly seizing opportunities presented by the global economic recovery to advance the well-being of our peoples.
In closing, I want to once again welcome Prime Minister Pierre and his delegation to Taiwan. I wish you a fruitful visit.
Prime Minister Pierre then delivered remarks, a transcript of which follows:
On behalf of the government and the people of Saint Lucia, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to the government and the people of Taiwan for hosting me and my delegation on my first official state visit as the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. Taiwan has been a true and dear friend to us notwithstanding the global volatility and uncertainty.
Although many oceans away, our island nations share not only similar physical characteristics but philosophies as a people marked by our respect for self-determination, our peaceful transitions of power in our democracies, and a desire for our people to build legacies based on cooperation and industry. Our histories dictate that we must guard our freedoms and build systems that will put our people first.
Taiwan's humanitarian support continues to be demonstrated in Saint Lucia through its assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently the severe flooding in the northern region of the island. These timely interventions supported our relief efforts and commitments to our citizens. However, we have a shared crisis, that of climate change. It threatens our survival as island states, and we must cooperate to advance the calls for loss and damage agreements to be honored by those primarily responsible.
In this vein, Saint Lucia will continue its lobbying efforts on the world stage for access to international organizations and to advance the right of sovereign states to self-determination and non-interference in their internal affairs.
Thank you, President Tsai, for your leadership. We thank you, the government, and the people of Taiwan for these 15 years of friendship, and we look forward to the celebration of more years to come.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Saint Lucia Ambassador Robert Kennedy Lewis, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Bowman, and other members of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan.