Sep 29, 2009, 4:59 AM
The Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of China on Taiwan yesterday arrived in The Gambia as the special envoy of president-elect Ma Ying-jeou to attend the inauguration of president-elect Jammeh.
H.E. Timothy C.T. Yang is leading an eight-member delegation to The Gambia from 17 through 21 January 2012.
He was met at the foot of the aircraft by the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Hon. Mambury Njie, Ambassador Samuel Chen and a cross-section of Taiwanese nationals in The Gambia. He also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr Momodou Tangara, at the airport before he was taken to his residence at the Sheraton Hotel in Brufut.
Speaking to reporters at the VIP lounge shortly after his arrival, the Taiwanese envoy said he was pleased to represent President Ma on this auspicious occasion.
“We are brothers and partners, and we are happy that H.E President Jammeh has been re-elected leader of this great country,” he said.
He used the occasion to stress that Taiwan would continue to be trustworthy partner of the development and construction of The Gambia.
He added that he has been actively involved in the relations between the two countries for a long time, since way back when he was Director General of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan.
The Taiwanese envoy expressed his gratitude for the warm reception accorded to him and members of his delegation upon their arrival in Banjul.
He said that the President Ma Ying-jeou attaches great importance to the relations between Taiwan and The Gambia.
According to him, President Ma is personally interested in visiting The Gambia in due course.
He noted that the re-election of presidents-elect Jammeh and Ma would open a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, during his visit, Minister Yang is scheduled to have an audience with President Yahya Jammeh to convey President Ma’s congratulatory message, as well as call on his Gambian counterpart, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad.
The delegation will also inspect Taiwanese agricultural projects in Banjul, and the navy patrol vessels donated by the ROC (Taiwan).
Minister Yang’s delegation comprises Director-General Amb. Mien-Sheng Hsu of Department of African Affairs (MOFA), Director-General Mr. Stanley Kao of Department of Economic and Trade Affairs (MOFA), Secretary-General Amb. Wen-Lung Tao of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and many other officers.
Meanwhile, among the foreign delegates that arrived yesterday for Thursday’s inauguration was the president of the Senate of Algeria, Abdelkader Bensalah, who is leading a four member delegation as the special envoy of President Abdul Boutefilika.
He was met at the foot of the aircraft by the foreign minister Dr Momodou Tangara.
Bensalah told reporters that Algeria and The Gambia are friendly nations, and that he is here to share the joy and happiness with the Gambian people.