Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Frank Hsieh set to attend US National Prayer Breakfast

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will be one of five representatives to attend the US' annual National Prayer Breakfast to be held in Washington next Febru-ary on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

The US government is sched-uled to hold the 55th National Prayer Breakfast at the Hilton Hotel on Feb. 1.

US President George W. Bush will give the keynote speech at the breakfast of nearly 5,000,which will include members of Congress and guests from around the world.

Over the past five years, former senior advisers to the president Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) and Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), and former Democratic Progressive Party secretary-general Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) led delegations on behalf of Chen to attend the annual event.

This year, Taiwan will have five representatives in its delegation and Hsieh will be included in the group.

Although Hsieh's special assistant Albert Lin (林耀文) yesterday declined to confirm the matter, MOFA spokesman David Wang (王建業) verified it yesterday.

The format of next year's National Prayer Breakfast is slightly different to past years, Wang added, saying that the US has sent individual invitations to the invited guests.

Hsieh will not be the leader of the delegation, Wang said.

Wu and Taiwan's Representative to Washington David Lee (李大維) will also be attending the National Prayer Breakfast, Wang added.

Hsieh, who lost in his bid for Taipei mayor earlier this month, is now appearing in a series of political engagements which many perceive to be a warm-up lap for the 2008 presidential election.

According to one of Hsieh's close aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Hsieh will also visit Singapore in the near future to meet with former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀).

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