Honduran president says goodbye amid uncertainty
Outgoing Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez left Taiwan on Sunday, ending a three-day visit that marked the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between his Central American country and Taiwan.
Hernandez and his 11-member delegation left Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:50 p.m., after completing the last point of their official itinerary, a visit to the Central American Bank for Economic Integration’s regional office in Taiwan.
On Saturday, Hernandez met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
During the meeting at the presidential office, Hernandez said the two nations were true friends and that his visit was a “clear and firm message” that Honduras wanted to stand by Taiwan’s side against China’s growing military threat.
Also on Saturday, a member of the delegation, the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Lisandro Rosales Banegas, received the Order of the Shining Star with Grand Cordon from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of closer diplomatic relations. between Taiwan and Honduras.
Hernandez and the delegation arrived in Taiwan on Friday evening at Tsai’s invitation – it was his fourth visit to the country.
His previous visits had taken place in 2015 and 2016 as President of Honduras, and in 2010 as Speaker of the Honduran Parliament.
The latest visit came just months before the end of Hernandez’s second and final term as president, and amid the uncertainty surrounding Honduran foreign policy following the country’s presidential election on November 28.
One of the main candidates, Xiomara Castro, of the left-wing opposition Freedom and Refoundation party, has pledged to forge diplomatic ties with China if elected, according to a Reuters report in September.
If that happened, Taiwan’s number of official diplomatic allies would increase to 14.
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