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Newsline: Guatemala eyes summit of ‘Taiwan-friendly’ countries in March 2023

Guatemala plans to hold a summit in March for senior officials from “Taiwan-friendly” countries and hopes Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will attend, the Guatemalan ambassador in Taipei said on Monday. Speaking after presenting Tsai his diplomatic credentials as new ambassador in Taiwan, Oscar Adolfo Padilla Lam reaffirmed his country’s friendship, according to a read out of the meeting from the Taiwanese presidential office. “As Taiwan’s unchanging friend and ally, Guatemala intends to hold a high-level meeting of Taiwan-friendly countries in March to promote exchanges between friendly countries and reaffirm recognition and support for the Republic of China, Taiwan,” he said, referring to the island’s official name. “If President Tsai’s itinerary allows, I hope she can co-chair such an important meeting with President (Alejandro) Giammattei.” (https://neuters.de/world/guatemala-plans-march-summit-taiwan-friendly-countries-2022-12-19/) Tsai, who visited Guatemala in 2017, did not say in a statement from her office about the meeting if she would take up the invitation. However, she thanked Guatemala for its support, including sending Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro to Taipei in August just after China carried out war games near the island. Guatemala is one of only 14 countries to retain formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, and one of three allies left in Central America, alongside Honduras and Belize.

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