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Officials gather asTuvalu opens embassy in Taiwan

TAIPEI--Tuvalu, one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the South Pacific, opened an embassy in Taipei for the first time yesterday.

The opening ceremony was jointly presided over by Tuvaluan Prime Minister Willy Telavi and Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin.

The office is Tuvalu's only embassy and one of just five overseas missions the country maintains. The other four are located in the European Union, Fiji, New Zealand and at the United Nations.

Minute Taupo, Tuvalu's new ambassador to Taiwan, presented his credentials to President Ma Ying-jeou that same day at the Presidential Office.

Ma noted that Tuvalu, which established diplomatic ties with the Republic of China in 1979, is Taiwan's oldest ally in the South Pacific region. The partnership between the two countries, he added, has developed rapidly over past decades.

Ma pointed out that Tuvalu has on many occasions spoken up for Taiwan's bids to participate in international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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