The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) hopes to formally open its representative offices in Sapporo, Japan, and Istanbul, Turkey, before the summer holiday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) said yesterday.
Ou said the ministry was working on budgeting and staffing plans for the new offices. He said between two and three more months would be required to complete the necessary arrangements, adding that the governments of Japan and Turkey had given the green light for Taiwan to open the liaison offices.
Staffing levels at the two offices would be determined based on the number of Taiwanese tourists who travel to the two cities, he said, adding that the Sapporo office would be staffed by four or five officials while the Istanbul office would have two or three.
Ou said that the idea to open new offices stemmed from frequent people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and the two countries.
Ou also commented on Taiwan’s ties with El Salvador, which recently elected a president from a party with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party, leading to speculation that the Central American country could cut ties with Taiwan.
Ou, who recently concluded a visit to San Salvador, said Salvadoran president-elect Mauricio Funes welcomed President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to attend at his inauguration on June 1.
In an interview with the Central News Agency, Ou said the ministry was making arrangements for Ma to lead a delegation to the ceremony. Ministry spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said the ministry had yet to receive a final decision from the Presidential Office regarding the trip.