Ma Ying-jeou holds meetings with His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou and First Lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青), along with Vice President Wu Den-yih, held discussions on the evening of October 26 with His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, who was leading a delegation to Taiwan for the 13th time. During the meeting at the Presidential Office, President Ma said he hopes the visit by King Mswati III would help to further enhance the friendship and cooperative relationship between the two countries.

In remarks, President Ma stated that in April of this year he visited Swaziland and he was impressed by the beautiful scenery of the country and the warmth of its people. The president commented that the two countries have maintained a solid alliance since establishing diplomatic relations in 1968. In May of this year, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini specially travelled to Taiwan to attend the inauguration ceremonies of the 13th-term president and vice president of the ROC. In addition, Swaziland’s minister of commerce, industry & trade, minister of education & training, minister of home affairs, minister of information, communications and technology, and minister of economic planning & development have all made visits to Taiwan this year, along with Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini. This demonstrates that the two nations maintain a close alliance, he said.

President Ma expressed his appreciation to Swaziland for speaking on behalf of the ROC in many international venues and supporting Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Civil Aviation Organization. The president also commented that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Taiwan and Swaziland have engaged in agricultural technology cooperation for 40 years. Furthermore, the ROC has assisted Swaziland by promoting national development projects in the fields of information, handicrafts, electricity generation, and water supply, the president said, adding that these programs have resulted in considerable achievements.

The president furthermore stated that in 2008 the ROC dispatched a permanent medical mission to be stationed at the Mbabane Government Hospital in the capital city of Mbabane, where it assists in the training of local medical personnel and works to improve the quality of health services. In addition, he pointed out, each year the two countries hold a ministerial-level conference on economic and technological cooperation for promoting bilateral economic and trade cooperation. President Ma said that the most recent of these sessions was held in Taipei in early October, which he stated once again confirms the extremely close cooperative relationship between the two countries.

President Ma mentioned that the private sectors of the two countries have engaged in considerable interaction in recent years. This year, he said, National Changhua Senior High School, Taipei Medical University, and Catholic volunteer groups have sent groups of volunteers to Swaziland to provide service. Furthermore, the Amitofo Care Center, a Buddist charitable group, spent a considerable period erecting an orphanage in Swaziland, which he said was formally opened in September. President Ma noted that King Mswati III himself attended the inauguration of the facility, a project which has won broad support from the public in Swaziland. The president said this shows that contacts between the two sides are not limited to the official sector, but rather have been expanded to the private sectors of both countries.

In addition to King Mswati III, the delegation included Prince Simelane Dlamini, Chief Zamcolo Maziya, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mtiti Fakudze. The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin (林永樂) and Mrs. Lin and ROC Ambassador to Swaziland Peter M.Y. Tsai (蔡明耀) and Mrs. Tsai to hold discussions with President Ma. Also attending the meeting were Secretary-General to the President Timothy Chin-tien Yang (楊進添) and Mrs. Yang and National Security Council Secretary-General Jason C. Yuan (袁健生) and Mrs. Yuan.