Incoming Guatemala President Meets with Taiwanese Officials Ahead of Inauguration

REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez/File Photo
Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arevalo arrives for a meeting with Honduras President Xiomara Castro, at the Presidential House, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, January 4, 2024.

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala’s President-elect Bernardo Arevalo met with Taiwan’s foreign minister to discuss strengthening commercial ties on Saturday, the Central American nation’s incoming government said in a statement.

Arevalo and Vice President-elect Karin Herrera are due to take office on Sunday. Arevalo has said he aims to expand ties with China while maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The Central American country is one of only 13 nations that maintain diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan. Honduras in March ended its decades-long relationship with Taipei in favour of Beijing following the election in late 2021 of Xiomara Castro as president.

Arevalo and Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu discussed “opportunities to expand trade relations between both countries and the possibility of increasing exports of Guatemalan products in Taiwan,” the statement by Arevalo’s team said.

Herrera met earlier with Wu and Taiwanese Ambassador Miguel Li-jey Tsao to discuss “possibilities of cooperation,” according to an earlier statement.