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Leaders to attend ally's presidential inauguration: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan has received an invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of Central American ally El Salvador's president-elect, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, slated to be held next month, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

The ministry is still making arrangements for who will represent the nation at the ceremony to be held next month, Yeh De-guey (葉德貴), a counselor of MOFA's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, said at a news briefing yesterday.

Asked if President Ma Ying-jeou will attend the ceremony, Yeh said the ministry is still entertaining all possible options.

  Once all preparations have been made, the Presidential Office will make the final decision regarding whether or not the president will visit the ally, he said.

If the president is unavailable for this trip, other possible candidates to head the R.O.C. delegation include the vice president, the Legislative speaker and premier, among others, he said.

Meanwhile, another diplomatic ally of Taiwan, Panama, has also elected a new president on Sunday. Opposition leader Juan Carlos Varela won the presidential election in Panama with almost 40 percent of the votes.

The inauguration ceremony for Panama's new leader will be held on July 1, according to Yeh.

Asked to comment, Yeh said the ministry has not received an invitation for the ceremony. It will begin making arrangements for senior government officials to attend the ceremony once it receives an official invitation from the ally, he said.

The last time the president visited Central America was in January this year when he embarked on an eight-day diplomatic tour that took him to African allies Burkina Faso and Sao Tome and Principe, later attending the inauguration ceremony of the Honduran president-elect.

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