Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan-Africa leadership summit opens on Sunday

HIGH-LEVEL PLATFORMS On the heels of the Central American summit last month, the first summit with African leaders will be held in Taipei at the Grand Hotel

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The first Taiwan-Africa leadership summit, which opens on Sunday in Taipei, will mark Taiwan's success in establishing platforms for high-level multilateral talks in all three of the nation's major diplomatic strongholds, Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) said yesterday.

Huang made the remarks while briefing reporters on details of the summit, which is scheduled to be held at the Grand Hotel.

Most of the nation's diplomatic allies are located in three regions -- Central America, the South Pacific and Africa, Huang said.

The sixth Taiwan-Central America leadership summit took place in Honduras last month, while the first summit between Taiwan and its diplomatic allies in the South Pacific was held in Palau last September, he said.

The leaders of Taiwan's five diplomatic allies in Africa -- Malawi, Swaziland, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Sao Tome and Principe -- have promised to attend, Huang said. He delivered President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) letters of invitation to the leaders of the five countries in July.

Huang said Chen will sign a joint communique with his counterparts at the close of the meeting.

Asked whether the joint communique would include a resolution in favor of Taiwan's bid to join the UN under the name Taiwan and gain membership in other international organizations, Huang said the issue would be discussed at a working-level meeting of the countries' foreign ministers.

The main themes of the summit will be "Information and a Growing Africa" and "Sustainable Health and a Peaceful Africa," Huang said.

Because China is doing everything possible to increase its clout in Africa, Huang said Taiwan should seek to help address various major issues of concern to the continent, such as poverty, ethnic conflicts and the digital divide.

Huang said a Taiwan-Africa Progressive Partnership Forum will be held on Monday.

Leaders of the five African allies and representatives from other African countries are expected to take part in the forum.

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