Wed, Oct 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

MOFA announces contingency plans

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday that it has prepared contingency plans to be used in the event that foreign dignitaries attending the Oct. 10 National Day banquet are disturbed by protesters.

The anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁)campaign has announced that a plan to "besiege" the Presidential Office on Double Ten Day on Oct. 10 will proceed as scheduled. As a result some lawmakers suggested canceling the celebration and the National Day dinner party because of the protest.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) yesterday said that the annual Double Ten Day dinner party will be held in the Taipei Guest House, near the Presidential Office, as in past years. Preparations are under way and would not be affected by the ongoing campaign, he added.

"Should political activity hinder foreign guests from entering the Taipei Guest House, the ministry has made preparations for such a situation," Lu said.

Director-general of the ministry's Department of Central and South American Affairs, Ko Jai-son (柯吉生), said the president of Honduras, vice president of Nicaragua and the governor of Belize will be attending the Double Ten National Day celebrations. The President of Sao Tome and Principe will also be a guest.

But Lu said the ministry is not sure if American Institute in Taiwan Director Stephen Young, who is currently in the US for consultations, will be able to attend the celebration. If Young cannot make it, a proxy will attend the celebration in his place, which is normal diplomatic practice, Lu added.

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