Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Page 3 News List

MOFA mum on St Lucia ambassador recall

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday declined to say whether it would recall Taiwan’s ambassador to St Lucia as requested by the Caribbean country’s newly elected leader, saying only that envoys posted abroad are evaluated regularly.

“Evaluations are held on a regular basis and a personnel reshuffle will be made under necessary conditions,” said Jaime Wu (吳進木), director-general of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs.

The English-language China Post reported on Sunday that St Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Anthony had urged Taiwan to replace Ambassador Tom Chou (周台竹) after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is inaugurated for a second term on May 20.

“I have asked for the recall of Ambassador Tom Chou ... His behavior in St Lucia over the last couple of years is unacceptable to the government of St Lucia,” Anthony was quoted by the report as saying.

“As far as we are concerned, his presence in St Lucia is not in the best interest of Taiwan and the government and people of St Lucia, at this time,” he said.

Anthony, who was elected prime minister in November last year, has accused Chou of influencing St Lucia’s elections by supporting the then-ruling United Workers Party (UWP).

He also pledged to review diplomatic relations with Taiwan after taking power.

St Lucia first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984, but switched recognition to China in 1997 after Anthony was elected prime minister for the first time. In 2007, the UWP government, which had regained power in 2006, renewed ties with Taipei.

St Lucia is one of Taiwan’s 23 diplomatic allies.

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