Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre arrived in Taiwan Monday for a state visit – his first as Saint Lucia’s head of government, looking forward to strengthening ties between Castries and Taipei.
As reported by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), Pierre told local media that Saint Lucia and Taiwan had been longtime friends.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Saint Lucia established diplomatic relations in 1984.
But in 1997, Saint Lucia switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
However, in April 2007, Taiwan and Saint Lucia reestablished diplomatic relations, and Beijing severed its formal ties with Castries.
“We respect each other’s freedoms and we hope that developments can grow and our people can prosper and we can benefit from the work that Taiwan does in Saint Lucia,” Prime Minister Pierre told reporters on his arrival in Taiwan.
According to CNA, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomed the Saint Lucia Prime Minister and his delegation.
Pierre’s office said the PM would meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwan government officials during his November 28 to December 2 visit.
It also said Pierre would visit strategic agencies to explore areas for partnership, particularly for Saint Lucia’s youth, and explained that Taiwan fully funded the Saint Lucia delegation.
Dr. Ernest Hilaire will be acting Prime Minister during Pierre’s absence.
Headline photo courtesy Office Of the Prime Minister