Published on TaipeiTimes

President gets a warm welcome from Belize leaders

By Huang Tai-lin
Saturday, Sep 04, 2004,Page 3
A welcoming ceremony was staged at Belize's Philip Goldson International Airport for President Chen Shui-bian (�����ó), who arrived in the Central American country on Thursday for a one-day state visit.

Chen stepped out of the chartered plane with Belizean Prime Minister Said Musa. Both arrived from Panama City after attending Panamanian President Martin Torrijos' inauguration on Wednesday.

The Belizean ceremony accorded the two leaders full military honors, complete with a 21-gun salute.

Both countries' national anthems were played at the ceremony, where Chen and his entourage received a warm welcome from local Taiwanese expatriates waving the national flag and flag of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

This was Chen's first visit to Belize. Premier Yu Shyi-kun and Vice President Annette Lu (Sf�q��) both made official visits to Belize in 2002.

Chen was interviewed by local media before he paid courtesy calls to Musa and Governor General Sir Colville Young in Belmopan City.

Chen then traveled with Musa to the George Price Center, where he received the keys to the capital city from Mayor Anthony Chanona.

Musa and Chen signed a communique to strengthen the two countries' bilateral ties and decorated each other with honorary medals. Chen was conferred with the Order of Belize while Musa received the Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon award from Chen.

Chen also presented the Belizean leader with a pickup truck and an image of Musa's hometown taken from the nation's ROCSAT-2 satellite.

Chen was slated to meet with local Taiwanese expatriates and members of the government's aid missions to Belize and to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for a gymnasium financed with loans from Taiwan.

Chen also will present a total of 600 footballs and basketballs to the Central American nation as a gift.

Belize is the last leg of Chen's diplomatic tour after his three-day state visit to Panama. He will make a stopover in Seattle before returning home tomorrow.

The Taipei Times.