Costa Rica has never considered changing its longstanding diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Costa Rica's Acting Foreign Minister Edgar Ugalde Alvarez said on Wednesday during an interview with the Central News Agency (CNA).
Ugalde Alvarez added that Costa Rica has maintained cordial diplomatic ties with Taiwan for more than 60 years and that bilateral relations have continued to grow steadily.
Costa Rica has done nothing to warrant Taiwan's suspicion of its motivations, he said.
He said that all bilateral cooperative projects had been very conducive to Costa Rica's national development, and any report about its dissatisfaction with Taiwan's aid projects was sheer speculation.
Ugalde is meeting Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) and other representatives of Taiwan's allies in the region in Belize today.
He further clarified Costa Rica's stance on Taiwan's bid to join the WHO, saying his country had never opposed Taiwan's membership bid.
In a May 14 vote at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Costa Rica unexpectedly voted against the proposal initiated by Taiwan's other allies to include Taiwan's membership bid on the agenda of the ongoing World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO's decision-making arm.
Ugalde argued that what Costa Rica opposed was a "rearrangement of the WHA meeting agenda," not Taiwan's WHO entry.
"We did not want to see the annual conference paralyzed by a change of the agenda, therefore we opposed the proposal," he said.
Ugalde Alvarez also expressed dissatisfaction with Taiwan's failure to explain its stance to its allies before filing an application for WHO membership.
Over the past decade, Taiwan had applied to join the WHA as an observer, he said.
This year, Taiwan applied for WHO full membership under the name of Taiwan. As this was a significant change, he said, Taiwan should have discussed its stance with its allies in advance.
"Without prior discussion, misunderstanding arose between Taiwan and its allies," he said.
Ugalde Alvarez added that the Costa Rican government explained in a news statement issued last week that its policy on Taiwan's fight for equal health rights for its people was similar to that of the US, Japan and the EU, and its support for equal health rights for Taiwan was unswerving and beyond doubt.
He also denied any correlation between Costa Rica's bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council next year and its vote on Taiwan's membership in a major international organization.
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