Taipei, Feb. 2 (CNA) Saint Kitts and Nevis will continue to advocate for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, the country’s ambassador to Taiwan has said.
Speaking with CNA earlier this week, Ambassador Donya L. Francis said the strong ties forged following Saint Kitts and Nevis’ independence from the United Kingdom in September 1938 meant the Caribbean nation could not “leave Taiwan out” on the international stage.
“Any international organization that we can get Taiwan to be a part of we are going to always voice our support for Taiwan,” said Francis, who presented his credentials to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Nov. 8, 2022.
The ambassador said Saint Kitts and Nevis had been one of Taipei’s “best friends” in the 40 years since his country established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name.
“Saint Kitts and Nevis is small but it’s one of Taiwan’s best friends. We have been one of Taiwan’s best friends for 40 years and I believe we get 40 more years, there’s no question about that,” Francis said.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Saint Kitts and Nevis’ independence, the county’s Prime Minister Terrance Drew has invited Tsai, senior Taiwanese ministers and an honor guard to take part in celebrations in the country, Francis added.
Francis, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Ming Chuan University and a master’s degree from Taipei Medical University, also played up economic and educational ties between Taiwan and the Caribbean nation.
Taiwan has established a presence in Saint Kitts and Nevis through cultural exchanges and scholarships, as well as in areas such as agro-processing and solar panel production, Francis said.
He noted that Taiwanese businesses, such as solar solution provider SpeedTech, have set up plants in his country.
On a personal note, Francis recalled a Ministry of Education-sponsored homestay program he had taken part in during his time as a student in Taiwan.
Francis said the welcome he received from his “Taiwanese mom” and his host family “really touched my heart, and that’s why I keep on saying I’m Taiwanese – because I have a whole family here.”