Somaliland Representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud called Taiwan a true friend as the Legislative Yuan established the Taiwan-Somaliland Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association yesterday.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Ching-yi was made chairwoman of the association at a ceremony at the legislature in Taipei.
Establishing the association is a great starting point for an important partnership through long-term cooperation and exchanges between the two governments, the people, and the legislatures, Lin said in a pre-recorded video, as she was unable to attend the ceremony after testing positive for COVID-19.
Somaliland and Taiwan are committed to a free market economy and fighting authoritarianism, Mohamoud told lawmakers, calling Taipei “a partner of Somaliland, a force for good and a true friend.”
Somaliland supports Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer and other multilateral organizations, he said.
As the “closest” country to Taiwan in Africa, Somaliland can connect the nation with a combined population of 500 million people in 19 East African countries, he said.
Somaliland has rich natural resources such as oil and gas, so it looks forward to signing more mutually beneficial agreements with Taiwan to share the resources, he said.
“Taiwan upholds the principles of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits to participate in the international community in the hope to become a good force for maintaining regional peace and stability,” Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui said.
The association can promote exchanges between lawmakers from both nations, and deepen cooperation in healthcare, fisheries, agriculture, and information and communication, Yui said.
Somaliland and Taiwan cherish the values of democracy and the rule of law, important beliefs that Taiwan is to adhere to while exploring opportunities for cooperation, he said.
Separately, the legislature passed the third reading of an amendment to establish its own international affairs department.
Passage of a proposed amendment to the Organic Act of the Legislative Yuan would provide a basis for the department’s establishment, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun wrote on Facebook.
The department would be in charge of legislature-related foreign affairs, fostering talent and “creating a database of legislative diplomacy showing the outcomes of international exchanges,” You said.
“The department would serve as the supporting force for all lawmakers and provide greater assistance to legislative diplomacy,” he said.
It could be established as soon as the next legislative session, which is to begin in September, Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Jih-jia said when the bill passed its preliminary review on Monday.
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