Wed, Sep 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

MOFA pledges to stand by US in fight against terror

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Taiwan will continue to do all it can to carry out a pledge to cooperate with the US in the "war against terror," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman said yesterday on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US.

Wang Chien-yeh (王建業) said that cooperation between Taiwan and the US on anti-terrorism measures would not be eroded by controversial political issues such as the government's plan to push for a referendum on whether to apply to the UN under the name "Taiwan."

FOREIGN AID

As a peace-loving country, Taiwan has participated in international relief and restoration operations in Afghanistan and Iraq over the years, contributing manpower and supplies for non-combat use, Wang said.

Wang said that as a member of the US Container Security Initiative (CSI) -- a project that was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and designed to prevent terrorists from using sea containers destined for US ports -- Taiwan has been cooperating with the US on customs cargo container security checks and will continue to implement the anti-terrorism program.

`HIGH-RISK' CARGO

Under the CSI program, US customs inspectors are posted in signatory countries to conduct security checks on "high-risk" cargo destined for the US.

In return, US trade partners who have signed the program enjoy preferential customs clearance treatment in the US, the ministry said.

Speaking on the 23 South Korean Christian volunteers who were taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Wang said that the incident was an example of why the ministry exercises caution in executing international aid programs and advises civic humanitarian groups such as the Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation when they conduct relief missions in counties where violence is rampant.

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