Wed, Jan 04, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Decision on date to reopen Libya office expected soon

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The government will soon decide when to reopen the representative office in Libya after receiving a positive response from Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) government, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.

Department of African Affairs Director-General Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生) said Taiwan contacted the NTC after the fall of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and it “extended a welcome to us.”

“But we still need to appraise the timing of restoring the operation of the office as well as purposes and functions it will serve before we decide to send our personnel back there,” Hsu said at a regular press briefing.

Hsu said the ministry would soon make a decision because the situation in Libya has stabilized and many countries have decided to unfreeze Libyan funds to support the recovery of the Libyan economy and assist the new government.

The Commercial Office of the Republic of China Tripoli, the country’s only overseas mission in northern Africa, was suspended on Feb. 21 last year amid political turmoil demanding Qaddafi’s ouster, with all personnel evacuated.

In other travel-related news, Taiwanese can now travel Burkina Faso, one of the nation’s four diplomatic allies in Africa, on a landing visa for a stay of up to 30 days on a single entry, Hsu said.

However, the visa privilege was not reciprocal because Burkina Faso has not met the government’s requirements for landing visas and visa-free treatment, he said.

Under the agreement on visa privileges signed between Taiwan and Burkina Faso, the two nations agreed to waive visa fees for each other for a stay of up to 180 days.

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