《TAIPEI TIMES》 New Tuvalu envoy pledges to help Taiwan gain allies

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, listens as Tuvalu’s newly appointed Ambassador Bikenibeu Paeniu, standing, makes a statement as he presents his credentials at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

2022/06/21 03:00

/ Staff writer, with CNA

Tuvalu would continue to help Taiwan win more allies in the Pacific region, new Tuvaluan Ambassador to Taiwan Bikenibeu Paeniu said yesterday.

Paeniu made the remarks when presenting his credentials to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to mark the official beginning of his ambassadorship.

Tuvalu was the first Pacific country to establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Tsai said.

The two countries cherish their friendship, Tsai said, adding that she visited Tuvalu in 2017 to gain a first-hand understanding of the results of cooperation between the two countries.

She thanked Tuvalu for speaking up in support of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, such as the World Health Assembly and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Paeniu has served as Tuvaluan prime minister three times and has a great deal of political experience and an understanding of the interactions between the two countries, Tsai said.

With Paeniu’s assistance, cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and Tuvalu would be improved upon, she added.

Paeniu said that during his 10 years as prime minister, he witnessed the development of bilateral relations such as a hotel cooperation project and the funding of the construction of government buildings by Taipei.

He said that after he stepped down from his post in 2006, he continued to witness the support and help provided to Tuvalu by Taiwan.

He said his main responsibility is to maintain the friendship between the two countries.

The Tuvaluan government and people are grateful for Taipei’s long-standing support since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1979, Paeniu said.

Paeniu said that Tuvalu would in return give Taiwan the highest level of trust and loyalty.


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