The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will convene a meeting next week to study President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposal to change the names of the country's overseas representative offices, Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸), chairperson of the ministry's Research and Planning Committee, said yesterday.
Yang said the committee, which is in charge of rating the performance of the overseas representative offices, does not plan to assess their achievements by the progress of their negotiations with the host countries regarding the name changes.
"Bilateral relations between Taiwan and these countries vary. It is not proper to use the name change issue as a criteria to rate the offices," Yang said in a press conference.
Meanwhile, 10 representatives of overseas missions have returned to Taipei for consultation.
They will exchange views with senior government officials on Chen's plan to correct the name of the nation's representative offices from Taipei to Taiwan, the ministry said.
The ministry is scheduled to hold a tea party this morning for returning overseas mission chiefs to meet with the media.
The mission chiefs include Chiou Jong-nan (
Ministry spokesman Michel Lu (
Lu, who was previously posted in France, said it took 15 years for Taiwan and France to reach an agreement to allow the country's representative office in Paris to use "Taipei" in its official title.
"We can only take a step at a time," Lu said.
He said that the president is fully aware of the challenges the overseas representative offices are facing as they negotiate with their host nations about the name changes.