Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 3 News List

US lauds Taiwan for limiting Iran ties

NATIONAL SECURITY:The US has exempted Taiwan from complying with sanctions it has imposed on Iran, but encouraged Taipei to keep reducing its Iranian oil imports

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The US yesterday called on Taiwan to continue limiting its relations with Iran as American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Brent Christensen identified the issue as a new area of cooperation between the two countries to ensure global security.

“We encourage Taiwan and all of our partners to continue reducing economic and trade ties to Iran,” Christensen said as he delivered his opening remarks at an international conference on homeland security held by the Executive Yuan yesterday.

As US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said, “by reducing Iran’s oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iranian leaders. Until they take concrete action to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure,” Christensen said.

In June, the US exempted Taiwan and six other nations — India, South Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia and Sri Lanka — from the economic sanctions it imposed on Iran in return for them significantly reducing imports of Iranian oil.

“This demonstrated Taiwan’s commitment to global security,” he said.

Christensen said that through this issue, the US and Taiwan had extended their long history of cooperation on security issues.

“Neither of us can afford to compromise on homeland security, as this can give opportunity to global threats, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear proliferation and other criminal activities. Together with other partners, we can become better equipped to bolster our security,” he said.

EU Representative to Taiwan Frederic Laplanche also spoke at the event.

“A decade ago, it was not clear to everybody that we would have as European Union one day an internal security policy and that we would have a department for home affairs. Now it’s the case … It shows how much effort and how much progress the EU has made in developing a common internal security policy,” Laplanche said.

Laplanche said the EU adopted an internal security strategy in 2010 and has a dense network of EU agencies with which to implement it both at an EU-wide level and at state level.

The strategy is closely interlinked with the EU’s external policies, “because we all know that crimes and security threats do not know borders anymore,” he said.

Laplanche listed a number of issues the EU is currently working to solve, one of which is corruption, which he said was “one of the main crime-related risks facing the EU today.”

The EU adopted an anti-corruption package in June last year and is about to implement a new mechanism — the EU anti-corruption report — whereby each member state will be submitted to a review of its anti-corruption efforts, he said.

The one-day conference brought together government officials and academics from the US, the EU, Israel and Malaysia to discuss issues related to border control policies, travel management, national strategies for global supply chains, security and the prevention and deterrence of terrorist acts targeting infrastructure facilities.

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