Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Mark Chen to go to Colorado to attend 2004 World Forum

CNA , Taipei

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) will travel to the US tomorrow to attend the 2004 World Forum in Colorado.

Chen said he would attend the event while speaking at an informal gathering for the first anniversary of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, an organization promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and supported by the Legislative Yuan.

The World Forum is an annual conference of government officials, legislators, business and financial leaders and academics, which is sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.

Chen said that he was invited by US Vice President Dick Cheney to the annual conference June 17-20.

Chen is expected to stay in the US for a week before returning home. Afterward, he plans to travel to Europe in July to chair a meeting of the chiefs of Taiwan's representative offices in the region.

Meanwhile, Chen said on the same occasion that the ministry hopes that the donations to Costa Rica will be put to their designated purposes, although Taiwan respects the decisions of the Central American nation.

Chen was responding to an AFP report that said five conservative Costa Rican legislators have accused their foreign minister, Roberto Tovar, of diverting funds donated by the Taiwanese government for unauthorized uses.

The report quoted the legislators as saying that the foreign ministry had diverted some US$4.8 million in funds from Taiwan intended to develop trade and tourism in Costa Rica to pay foreign ministry salaries and bonuses.

Chen said that Taiwan has always been clear about its financial aid to other countries, and "soft assistance" plans are usually used on such items as trade and tourism.

Although Taiwan respects the wishes of the recipients, it hopes that they will not divert money randomly in such a way as to undermine possible future donations on such things as schools and hospitals.

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