Wed, Aug 09, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Honduras' rain checks have some nervous about ties

DPA , TAIPEI

Taiwan is concerned about its diplomatic ties with Honduras after Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelayas Rosales twice postponed visiting Taiwan.

Zelayas was scheduled to visit Taiwan from last month but postponed the trip until early this month due to "an urgent matter" in Honduras. The "urgent matter" was that Zelayas had to go to Panama to attend a meeting of the Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana.

Last week Honduras notified Taipei that Zelayas would put off his visit again due to a teachers' strike.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) confirmed on Monday that Zelayas putting off his visit again was "due to domestic issues."

"He has merely postponed, not canceled, his visit," Lu was quoted as saying by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) yesterday. "Taiwan-Honduras ties are fine."

The local media has reported that some allies -- including the Vatican, Panama and Paraguay -- are mulling recognizing China, but the government claimed ties with these countries were solid.

Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) will visit Panama on Sunday to review the work of Taiwan's embassies in the region.

Ambassador to Panama Hou Ping-fu (侯平福) told the Central News Agency (CNA) that Huang will meet with Taiwan's ambassadors in Latin America next Tuesday and will also discuss projects with Panamanian leaders.

"Panama is not like Chad, which was forced to switch recognition because it wanted to sell oil to China. Taiwan-Panama ties are firm," CNA quoted Hou as saying.

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