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President Tsai hosts appreciation banquet in Guatemala
President Tsai hosts appreciation banquet in Guatemala

On the evening of April 1 local time (morning of April 2 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen hosted an appreciation banquet thanking the people and government of Guatemala for their warm hospitality. In remarks, President Tsai said that this intensive visit is especially meaningful since the two countries jointly witnessed the achievements of our bilateral cooperation over the years and initiated more cooperative projects for the future. The president said that she looks forward to an enduring partnership between Taiwan and Guatemala.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I am so happy to be here with all of our friends from Guatemala tonight, and thank you for your splendid and cordial welcome. I especially want to thank President [Alejandro Eduardo] Giammattei [Falla], who found the time amidst the many affairs of state to accompany us throughout our stay. It is very touching, and I want to express my deepest thanks on behalf of the entire visiting delegation.

It has been six years since my last visit, and I have seen a lot of progress and changes in Guatemala on this visit. That includes Guatemala's respect and care for historical sites and the natural environment, which is quite impressive and something we can learn from. We will take these valuable experiences back with us to Taiwan.

During this visit, we jointly witnessed the signing of a basic cooperation agreement and experienced the majesty and charm of Mayan civilization in Tikal National Park.

With his background in medicine, President Giammattei planned and implemented many disease prevention programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. I much admire that vision and ability to execute, and I am pleased that Taiwan was able to participate. Tomorrow, we will attend the donation and handover ceremony for the National Hospital of Chimaltenango. We hope this cooperative project can help protect the health of more Guatemalans.

We also fully endorse President Giammattei's efforts to promote the ideas of women's empowerment, and we look forward to developing more cooperative programs in that area. This intensive visit is especially meaningful since we have jointly witnessed the achievements of our bilateral cooperation over the years, and initiated more cooperative programs for the future.

Once again, I would like to thank President Giammattei for his invitation and the people of Guatemala for their warm hospitality. Now, I would like to invite all of our distinguished guests to join me in a toast to the best of health for President Giammattei. May the friendship between our countries grow stronger as the years go by.

President Giammattei then delivered remarks, saying that he looks forward to conducting a state visit to Taiwan and hopes to see President Tsai again in the near future. He added that interactions over the past few days have afforded us a deeper understanding of each other's way of thinking and that we have had opportunities to exchange views on many subjects, learning that we share the same perspectives and objectives on many matters.

President Giammattei reiterated Guatemala's commitment to speak up for Taiwan at international venues in hopes of the world recognizing the sovereignty of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and all members of the United Nations understanding the true value of Taiwan.

Among those attending the banquet were Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Búcaro and other cabinet members.

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