Taipei: Newly elected Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine has reaffirmed her support for strong ties with Taiwan, as reported by Focus Taiwan.

The inauguration of the Marshall Islands president took place in the national capital, Majuro, on Monday and was attended by dignitaries from around the world, including Taiwan.

At her inauguration, messages of congratulations were read out, including from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Japan, Palau, and the United States, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press release.

Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang, who attended the inauguration as a special envoy of President Tsai, highlighted that both countries share the values of democracy and freedom, referencing the fact that both have just conducted national elections, according to Focus Taiwan.

President Heine, meanwhile, reaffirmed the 26 years of strong ties between the two nations, adding that her administration will continue to cherish the long-standing friendship, MOFA said in its press release.

Moreover, Heine once again congratulated Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for being elected president on January 13 and praised Taiwan as a model of democracy, it said.

Reportedly, Heini was elected president on January 2 this year by a 17-16 margin over David Kabua, who ousted Heine in 2020 after his previous stint as president from 2016 to 2020 by a 20-12 vote plus one abstention.

In the Marshall Islands, presidents are chosen by the country's 33 parliamentarians, who are selected by the electorate.

During his stay in the Pacific nation, Tien also met with top officials, including Foreign and Trade Minister Kalani Kaneko, Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce Anthony Muller, Minister of Assistance Bremity Lakjohn, and Minister of Justice and Immigration Wisely Zackhras, to discuss cooperation projects, MOFA said.

Taiwan also saw the delivery of 60 tonnes of rice donated by Taiwan to the Mashall Isamad during a ceremony, it said.

According to Tien and his delegation were scheduled to return to Taiwan later Tuesday, according to MOFA.

Tien's delegation departed Taiwan last Wednesday, two days after Nauru, roughly 1,000 kilometres southwest of the Marshall Islands, announced that it was severing ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan's official name) to recognise the People's Republic of China.

Moreover, the move left China with 12 allies worldwide, including the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Palau in the Pacific region. Tuvalu and Palau have also recently pledged to stick with Taiwan.

The severing of ties between Taiwan and Nauru came two days after Lai was elected president, according to Focus Taiwan.

It was also the 10th diplomatic ally Taipei has lost to Beijing since President Tsai took office in May 2016 amid deteriorating cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

This report is auto-generated from a news agency service