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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Feb. 5, 2008) — The recent trip to Taiwan by four Senators benefited Palau in several ways, according to the trip report released to media outlets yesterday.

The five-day trip (Jan. 18-23) included Senate President Surangel Whipps Sr., Floor Leader Alan Seid, Sen. Yukiwo Dengokl and Sen. Caleb Otto.

Firstly, it served to strengthen the diplomatic tie and friendship Palau has with the government and people of Taiwan.

The trip report also said that the official visit offered an opportunity for the Senate to express its gratitude on behalf of the people of Palau for the many forms of assistance it receives from Taiwan for national development.

It also provided the Senators and opportunity to enhance their individual diplomatic aptitude and skills.

The trip was also an opportunity for the Senators to experience and appreciate Taiwan’s progress, natural resources and more importantly its people.

The Senators expressed their appreciation to Taiwan Ambassador to Palau Matthew S. Lee for this trip, which had been delayed for several months due to pressing issues that the Senate faced since the invitation extended to by Amb. Lee on July 2007.

The Senators also thanked the services rendered to by Palau’s Charge d’ Affaires in Taiwan Lydia Ngirablosch during their stay there.

The Senate said in its report that the trip was all-expense paid by the government of Taiwan, which accorded the Palau Senators the highest level of courtesy, including police escorts, security officer and all logistical support.

The Senators had a courtesy call to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, the presiding officers of the Parliament and various cabinet members and heads of important agencies and organizations.

Aside from President Chen, the other government officials the Senators met were Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Amb. Elizabeth Y.C. Chu, Vice President Legislative Yauan Dvid J.C. Chung, Asst. Sec. Gen. International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) Dr. Pai-Po-Lee, Deputy Minister Government Information Office William J. Yih and Vice Chairman Mainland Affairs Council Michael You.

The Senators visited the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, which is the sister hospital to Belau National Hospital.

They also visited the Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd, which recently signed an MOU with PNCC for partnership in improving telecom services in Palau.

The others they had the chance to visit were Chi Nan Tribal Community, Tzu Chi Foundation, Taroko National Park and Shilin Night Market.

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