Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Ties with Taiwan are just fine, says Panama

CNA , PANAMA CITY

Panamanian First Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro said on Tuesday that Panama's formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan are solid and will remain unchanged.

Lewis said during a press conference marking the 100th day in office of the new government led by President Martin Torrijos that although Panama has maintained strong business and trade ties with China and that these ties will continue to grow, this did not necessarily mean that Panama should alter its diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Lewis made the remarks in response to a question by the Xinhua News Agency about whether Panama planned to upgrade diplomatic relations with China.

Navarro noted that Panama has made its stance clear on many occasions with regard to maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan while boosting trade with China.

Lewis said China has played an increasingly important role in world trade and that it is one of the main users of the Panama Canal. These were the reasons why Panama has maintained strong business and trade ties with that country, he said. Lewis added that Panama was currently involved in a sixth round of free-trade talks with the US.

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