Honduras sees Taiwan as partner in promoting national development: Envoy

The Honduran government regards Taiwan as a partner as it aims to boost its efforts to promote welfare and national development, said the new Honduran ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Tuesday.

The Honduran government places a top priority on social justice, public health, and education, Burgos said as he met with Tsai at the Presidential Office for the first time after he assumed the top envoy post in Taipei in July.

The Central American nation sees Taiwan as a partner as it works to build a society that can better protect vulnerable people and will be resilient against natural disasters, diseases, and other security threats, Burgos said.

Burgos said that the Honduran government led by President Xiomara Castro was faced with historic challenges in trying to revive the nation's rule of law and democratic system.

According to Burgos, the Central American nation fell into the hands of an authoritarian regime after former President Jose Manuel Zelaya -- the husband of Castro -- was ousted 12 years ago and had since been weakened by problems like corruption and drugs.

It is important for Honduras to continue strengthening bilateral collaborations and dialogues with Taiwan on political, social, and economic issues, Burgos said, adding that he would spare no effort in promoting the ties and friendship between the two countries during his tenure.

Castro assumed office as the Central American country's first female head of state in January.

Several statements made by her on the campaign trail had raised concerns that Castro might end Honduras' 81-year diplomatic relationship with the Republic of China, the official name of Taiwan, in favor of establishing ties with Beijing.

However, Castro allayed Taipei's fears by stating that she hoped to maintain the two countries' relationship after she was sworn in.

Meanwhile, Tsai, describing Honduras as "an important ally" for Taiwan, said she hoped Burgos would elevate bilateral relations between the two countries to a new level.

Tsai said that in the face of the global expansion of authoritarianism, democratic partners must strengthen their cooperation in a variety of fields such as trade.

She mentioned that Taiwan had enjoyed a good trade relationship with Honduras, with exports of shrimps, beef, and coffee beans from the Central American nation becoming very popular in the Taiwanese market.

She also thanked the Honduran government for voicing support for Taiwan's participation in international events.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel