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Delegation to attend king of Swaziland's birthday

TAIPEI -- Taiwan has sent a delegation to attend the birthday celebration of Swaziland's King Mswati III later this week and will also visit Burkina Faso, another of Taiwan's African allies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The delegation, led by Defense Minister Yen Ming, comprises defense and foreign affairs officials, the ministry said in a statement. Yen was appointed as President Ma Ying-jeou's envoy to attend the king's 46th birthday celebration slated for April 24, it added.

In their 46 years of diplomatic relations, Taiwan and Swaziland have maintained close cooperation in various areas, including military training, the ministry said, describing the southern African country as “a solid ally.”

Yen will also travel to Burkina Faso to celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the West African country, according to the statement. The two sides originally forged ties in 1961, but they were severed in 1973 and restored in 1994.

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