Taiwan president visits Guatemala



GUATEMALA CITY - Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday arrived in Guatemala for a three-day visit in a bid to boost relations in a region where support for Taiwan has reduced in recent years.
Before he left for the tour of Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador, with a delegation of more than 100 people, Ma reassured the island's allies in the region that Taipei's improved ties with China would not jeopardize their status.



Taiwan president visits Guatemala
Costa Rica two years ago broke off ties with Taiwan in favor of China and observers have questioned whether its neighbors will follow suit.
Panama's president-elect, Ricardo Martinelli, has said that relations with Taiwan needed "serious analysis," and that he was not interested in "checkbook" relations.
In Central America, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama still belong to a group of only 23 nations that formally recognize Taipei over Beijing, following their split in 1949 after a civil war.
Ma was to take part bilateral talks with Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, and to visit Mayan pyramids in the Tikal National Park on Saturday.
Ma will take part in the presidential inauguration of Mauricio Funes in El Salvador on Monday, where he will also separately meet the presidents of Honduras and Nicaragua, before returning home on June 4, via Seattle.
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Saturday, May 30th 2009
AFP
           


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