Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government in Irbil, Nechervan Barzani, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday to conduct talks with government officials about how the two countries can cooperate in reconstructing post-war Kurdistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. \nBarzani and his delegation will stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Barzani, visiting Taiwan for the first time, will be meeting Premier Yu Shyi-kun and top-ranking officials from MOFA, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Council of Agriculture. \n"The main purpose of the visit is to boost bilateral trade, cultural exchange and agricultural cooperation. Reconstruction works are urgently needed in post-war Iraq, including Kurdistan," MOFA said in a press release. \n"The Kurds, though having sufficient funding for their reconstruction projects, lack related technique and knowledge in carrying out the plans. They wish to learn from our experiences," the statement said. \nVictor Tseng (曾慶源), director general of MOFA's Department of West Asian Affairs, said Barzani is here by the ministry's invitation. \n"It is a good opportunity for us to get to know Barzani, who is the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party and a member of the Iraqi Governing Council," Tseng said. \nBarzani's delegation of trade officials is eager to establish trade opportunities with Taiwan. It is particularly interested in Taiwan's information technology industry, Tseng said. \nKurdistan is rich in oil and talks on how to develop the region's oil fields with Taiwan are also on the delegation's agenda, he said. \nThe delegation will visit the state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council during their stay in Taipei, according to the ministry. \nAsked whether the government will seek official ties with post-Saddam Iraq or Kurdistan, Tseng said that both sides' cooperation focuses on reconstruction works. \nAfter the Iraq war broke out in March last year, MOFA and 19 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Taiwan raised around NT$32 million for the country's refugees in May last year and donated the money to an American foundation doing humanitarian work in Iraq. \nBarzani, a grandson of KDP founder Mustafa Barzani, was born in 1966 in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 1974, his family was forced into exile in Iran. He often accompanied his late father, Idris Barzani, on official visits to Middle Eastern and European countries. \nIn 1984, he enrolled at the University of Teheran to study political science, but withdrew three years later following the sudden death of his father and took up an active role in Kurdish politics, in youth organizations. \nBarzani was elected to the KDP central committee at its 10th Congress in 1989 and re-elected at the 11th Congress in 1993, when he assumed a position in the political bureau. \nAfter the 1991 Gulf War, he participated in negotiations with the Iraqi government. In 1996, he was appointed deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil, and in 1999 became prime minister.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and