Thu, Aug 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Ties with Nauru and Palau are still firm, MOFA says

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's diplomatic ties with the Republic of Nauru and Palau are stable, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday, dismissing as groundless rumors that ties with these nations had become flimsy.

Lu made the remarks in response to a report by the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday which said that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) planned trip to allies in the South Pacific Ocean next month might face obstructions because of Beijing.

The paper said that China would try to interfere in Chen's visit to Nauru and attempt to prevent him transiting in Fiji, the paper said.

Lu said that Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru King Y. Yu (游金榮) made two telephone calls to Taipei yesterday afternoon to clarify matters.

Yu described claims that Nauru was mulling establishing ties with China as "groundless."

Lu said that Palauan President Tommy Remengesau had officially invited Chen to attend a summit in Palau with Taiwan's six Pacific island allies, which proved that the rumors were untrue.

The Presidential Office yesterday declined to comment on the president's planned trip, saying that the foreign ministry was handling the preparations.

Lu said that the ministry would announce the details of the president's itinerary "as soon as everything has been confirmed."

Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling

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