Taiwan-Swaziland parliamentary friendship group created in Taipei
January 23, 2014, 12:06 am TWN
TAIPEI -- Lawmakers from Taiwan and African ally Swaziland can look forward to closer ties with the Wednesday establishment of a bilateral parliamentary friendship group.
Speaking at a Taipei ceremony marking the occasion, Taiwan's Legislative Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu said that one focus of the group would be education in Swaziland and encouraging exchanges and visits between the young people of both countries.
Forty-three Taiwanese lawmakers have said they will participate in the new group.
Hung said that based on her past encounters with Swazi children, she believes they have a lot of interest in Taiwanese culture. She praised the country in southern Africa for its rich natural environment and the hospitality of its people.
Hung's Swazi counterpart, House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Ester Dlamini, hailed the creation of the group as an important step forward in bilateral parliamentary diplomacy.
Dlamini said Taiwan has offered great assistance to Swaziland, especially in terms of education and culture, noting that many students from the African kingdom are studying in Taiwan.
People First Party lawmaker Lee Tung-hao, who will head the friendship group, said he moved to create the group after discovering last December that none existed during a visit from Swaziland House of Assembly Speaker Themba Msibi.