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Originally published Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 11:37 PM

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Taiwanese president cutting short Africa trip

Taiwan's president is cutting short his upcoming trip to Africa that aims to cement ties with the island's allies.

The Associated Press

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TAIPEI, Taiwan —

Taiwan's president is cutting short his upcoming trip to Africa that aims to cement ties with the island's allies.

President Ma Ying-jeou will depart Saturday for Burkina Faso, Gambia and Swaziland. But he has dropped a scheduled visit to Sao Tome and Principe, with the West African nation's president saying he won't be there to receive him.

Last week, Sao Tome and Principe participated at an economic forum China hosted in Macau for Portuguese-speaking nations.

Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman James Chang insisted ties with Sao Tome and Principe are "stable," saying businesspeople from the country and not officials attended the Macau meeting.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. Twenty-three nations, including Sao Tome and Principe, formally recognize Taiwan.

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