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President Tsai hosts state banquet for President Russ Joseph Kun of Nauru
President Tsai hosts state banquet for President Russ Joseph Kun of Nauru

On November 15, President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a state luncheon in honor of President Russ Joseph Kun of the Republic of Nauru at the Presidential Office following a welcome ceremony with military honors and bilateral talks. In remarks, President Tsai said that she looks forward to further deepening Taiwan and Nauru's partnership and jointly contributing to the sustainable development of the Pacific region.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

We are delighted to receive this delegation of important cabinet members from Nauru's new administration just six weeks after President Kun took office. This fully demonstrates the strong bond between our countries. Nauru is truly a very close friend to Taiwan.

In March 2019, I led a delegation to Nauru on my Oceans of Democracy trip. When we arrived, the Parliament of Nauru welcomed us with a resolution calling to uphold Taiwan's democratic institutions and supporting Taiwan's participation in various international organizations as a sovereign nation. The people of Taiwan were heartened by such a strong show of support, for which I express my sincere gratitude.

I also thank Nauru for consistently voicing support for Taiwan at international venues and defending our right to participate in global affairs. At the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Josie-Ann Dongobir, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nauru to the UN, spoke out in support of Taiwan and recognized Taiwan as an important partner in the global response to the pandemic. She urged the international community not to overlook Taiwan's exemplary response and to respect Taiwan's right to participation.

Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, Women and Social Development Affairs Isabella Dageago, who is also with us today, voiced support for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly three years in a row during her term as minister of health. On behalf of Taiwan and the Taiwanese people, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Nauru for its staunch support and friendship.

I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate Nauru on being confirmed as host of the 2026 Micronesian Games, an important event that brings together partners from across the Pacific region. We hope that athletes from Taiwan will be able to participate in the games and join Nauru in its efforts to promote sports exchanges.

I look forward to working with President Kun to further deepen Taiwan and Nauru's partnership and jointly advance sustainable development in the Pacific region. I wish our countries prosperity and everlasting friendship.

President Kun then delivered remarks and wished for the continued good health and prosperity of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on behalf of the people and government of the Republic of Nauru. The president expressed that it is a great honor to visit beautiful Taiwan and said that the gracious welcome and generous hospitality accorded to his delegation epitomize the sincerity of the people of Taiwan, adding that it was a privilege to receive military honors that morning. 

President Kun conveyed his thanks to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for assisting Nauru over the years in areas including infrastructure, health, agriculture, and education. He stated that Taiwan continues to be a steadfast partner to Nauru, contributing to its economic development and sustainability goals. Whether in times of prosperity or economic difficulties in Nauru, or most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that Taiwan's support for Nauru has never wavered.

The president stated that our thriving partnership and bilateral cooperation is based on a framework constructed over the years through close collaboration for the mutual benefit of our peoples. He added that our shared values and collective efforts toward peace and security have contributed to the development of a strong relationship based on trust and support, and that our partnership continues to mature and has, in recent years, become increasingly multifaceted, dynamic, and rewarding.

President Kun also commended the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its tireless efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. He said that Nauru considers Taiwan a close family member that supports his country while working together with them to advance democracy, freedom, peace, and stability in the region.

Reiterating that his delegation is visiting Taiwan in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and under the theme "Sustainable Partnership: Connectivity for Prosperity," President Kun said that pandemic recovery efforts will necessitate improving the quality of health, education, and social protection systems, land and marine infrastructure, and connectivity within the region, as well as efforts to bridge the digital divide through significant investment in information and communications technology. The president stated that Taiwan's transformation from humble beginnings to its current level of development is an example of the kind of success which developing countries like Nauru strive to emulate, adding that Taiwan's stable economic growth during the pandemic is commendable and a testament to its successful development strategy directed toward innovation and transformation.

President Kun then thanked President Tsai, the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the people of Taiwan for the meticulous arrangements made for their visit and for hosting the state banquet. He also acknowledged the work of our respective diplomatic missions and thanked Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to Nauru Dean Hai-Long Wang (王海龍) and his staff for making this trip possible.

President Kun invited President Tsai to visit Nauru in the near future and said that he and the first lady would be honored to personally welcome her to their nation.

Nauru Ambassador Jarden Kephas was also in attendance at the banquet.

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