MARSHALLS PRESIDENT MEETS COUNTERPART IN

News Release

Republic of the Marshall Islands Office of the President Taipei, Republic of China (ROC) June 16, 2011

TAIPEI

By invitation of President Ma Ying-jeou, President Jurelang Zedkaia is in Taipei, capital city of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and was greeted by President Ma Ying-jeou and First Lady Ma at the Presidential Palace today in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan) prior to bilateral discussions and a formal luncheon hosted in honor of President Zedkaia and his delegation.

During the bilateral discussions, President Ma, after welcoming President Zedkaia and his delegation, commended President Zedkaia on the successful climate change conference jointly hosted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands and University of Columbia.

Among other topics touched upon were ROC’s vocational training program in the Marshall Islands which President Zedkaia said was a hugely successful program, along with the youth ambassadors program, the Laura Farm and other agricultural initiatives, the sister city relationship between Majuro and Taipei (established in 1998 when President Ma was mayor of Taipei City and President Zedkaia was a Majuro Senator), other cultural exchange programs, and the upcoming Marshall Islands November general elections.

Afterwards, a formal luncheon was hosted by the President’s Office and included a nine-course meal. Later on that same day, President Zedkaia and delegation attended a formal evening dinner hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs, C.T. Yang, and Madam Yang.

At dinner, John Silk, RMI Minister of Foreign Affairs, sought his counterpart’s assistance in releasing a permit that has been held up for some time now, which would enable the release of a fishing vessel slated for Marshall Islands. Minister Silk also brought up the possibility of a loan by Marshall Islands Development Bank for assistance in the housing development programs of the Marshall Islands Government. Minister Yang promised he would look into the two issues.

He went on to propose ROC’s assistance in providing help in the form of scholarships for two medical students of the Marshall Islands. His proposal was warmly welcomed by President Zedkaia, who said that one of the main stumbling blocks for Marshallese students in pursuing longer educational programs overseas was their home-sickness.

Minister Young responded by saying that ROC’s scholarships would be used for regional schools nearby, not those too far away. Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides 600,000 Taiwan Dollars to the Ministry of Health which is equally divided among three sectors: medicine and equipment, doctor’s salaries (including bringing in qualified doctors from abroad), and the education of local doctors.

President Zedkaia also toured MOTECH renewable energy institution, the Institute for Information Industry, and will tour Taichung City and meet with Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu, later on during the visit, among other activities.

The President is accompanied by Mrs. Zedkaia, Foreign Minister John Silk, RMI Ambassador to Taiwan, Philip Kabua, UN Ambassador Philip Muller, and other government officials.

 

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