The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday expressed its gratitude for US President Barack Obama’s recognition of Taiwan’s efforts in the global fight against terrorism, saying its current focus is on providing humanitarian assistance.
Obama on Sunday mentioned Taiwan as a member of a global coalition to counter the Islamic State during a speech at the East Asia summit in Kuala Lumpur.
He also named Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea as partners in the US’ anti-terrorism efforts.
“The Asia-Pacific [region] is absolutely critical to promoting security, prosperity and human dignity around the world. That’s why I’ve devoted so much of my foreign policy to deepening America’s engagement with this region,” Obama said.
“Over the years, our friends here in Asia have been victims of terrorism, and many of them are close counterterrorism partners with us,” he said.
Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said Taiwan has assisted with humanitarian and emergency-response missions as part of its contributions to the international anti-terror effort.
Amid the terror attacks and civil wars in the Middle East, Taiwan has offered humanitarian aid to the region through the US, other nations and international organizations, such as donating prefabricated houses, LED lamps and nearly US$10 million in medical supplies, she said.
Taipei’s humanitarian assistance to refugees from the region has been recognized by the US and the international community, Wang said.
Taiwan’s active role in the international community as a provider of humanitarian aid and a regional peacemaker are in line with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) foreign policy, she said.
Taipei and Washington have established strong mutual trust and have cooperated closely through various and multilayer channels in areas including politics, trade and economics, she said.
“In an effort to enhance bilateral cooperation in responding to global challenges, the two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on the Global Cooperation Training Framework in June,” Wang said.
Taiwan and the US are to continue expanding the scope of their bilateral cooperation on regional and global issues, which is likely to raise Taipei’s international profile and increase the levels of roles it can play in the international community, she said.
In related developments, the Ministry of the Interior said the National Police Agency and the National Immigration Agency are cooperating with major countries on intelligence exchanges to safeguard the nation’s security.
Deputy Minister of the Interior Jonathan Chen (陳純敬) said that the police agency has stationed liaison officers in Southeast Asian countries to exchange information with local governments, and is working with the US and other countries on entry and departure information of travelers.
These efforts can make Taiwan more secure, Chen said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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