President has high hopes for stronger ties with Holy See
Central News Agency
2013-03-20 11:02 PM
Taipei, March 20 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday he has high expectations for future relations between the Holy See and Taiwan. The president made the remarks upon return from a trip to the Vatican for the investiture of the new pope. The trip went smoothly and was fruitful, said Ma, who attended Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday and had a brief conversation with the pope. Before the ceremony, Ma also met other world leaders, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "This is the first time in the more than 70 years since the Republic of China and the Holy See forged ties that an ROC president has been to a pope's inauguration," Ma said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Ma described the new pope as very amiable, saying they both had fun during their one-minute conversation. "We do have high hopes for future relations between Taiwan and the Holy See," Ma said. The trip indicated that Taiwan has won recognition for its many efforts in the international community, Ma said, adding that his administration will continue to play the role of peacemaker and a provider of humanitarian aid. The president and his delegation, which included first lady Chow Mei-ching, left for the Vatican on March 17 and returned Wednesday. (By Lee Shu-hua and Scully Hsiao)
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