Visiting Nauru President Russ Kun expresses gratitude for Taiwan's support to his country as he delivered a speech at the Presidential Office in Taipei. CNA photo Nov. 15, 2022

TAIPEI(CNA)—Visiting Nauru President Russ Kun said Tuesday that his country is looking forward to building cooperation with Taiwan in the area of economic development, as it seeks to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, Nauru is keen to develop its transportation and shipping services, which would be “a conduit to successful trade and honest economic benefits,” Kun said in a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei.

As part of Nauru’s efforts to bounce back from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hoping for cooperation with Taiwan to “promote prosperity through economic development,” Kun said, shortly after Tsai welcomed him and his delegation with military honors at the Presidential Office.

“We therefore look forward to working together to strengthen institutions, improve connectivity, generate trade, and develop cross-border solutions to shared problems,” said Kun, who is on his first visit to Taiwan since taking office as Nauru president on 29 September.

“Taiwan has in fact been Nauru’s steadfast ally and partner over the years,” he said. “Today, I am pleased to reaffirm the alliance between our two countries, one that we have nurtured over the years.”

He said Nauru will continue to stand in solidarity with Taiwan, a country that it believes must not be left behind and should be allowed to work “side by side with all the nations of the world.”

Tsai, meanwhile, said that Taiwan and Nauru have been working closely over the years in fields such as health, agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, clean energy and coast guard affairs.

In recent years, the bilateral cooperation has expanded to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as climate change, she said.

Taiwan will continue to strengthen bilateral exchanges with Nauru through educational and cultural cooperation, Tsai added.

Kun, who arrived with his 20-member delegation Monday on a six-day visit, has extended an invitation to Tsai to visit his country in the future, according to the Presidential Office.

The Nauruan delegation includes Minister of Justice and Border Control Pyon Deiye, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Asterio Appi, and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Isabella Dageago.

Nauru and the Republic of China (Taiwan) first established diplomatic relations in 1980 but cut ties in 2002, when the Pacific island nation switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing. In 2005, Taiwan and Nauru re-established diplomatic relations, which prompted China to severe its formal ties with Nauru…PACNEWS

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