A group of three European parliamentarians are visiting Taiwan to learn more about the development of its transportation infrastructure and study progress made in cross-strait relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The group, led by Brian Simpson, chairman of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament, is scheduled to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and call on foreign ministry officials and lawmakers during the six-day visit, the ministry said.
They are also scheduled to visit the Maritime and Port Bureau, the Bureau of High Speed Rail and the Taoyuan International Airport Corp among other places, the ministry said.
Simpson and the other members of the group — Zita Gurmai and Said El Khadraoui — are all friends of Taiwan, the ministry said.
Simpson, for example, wrote to the secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) earlier this year to voice support for Taiwan’s participation in the UN’s specialized agency that promotes safe air travel, the ministry said.
Appeals by Simpson and other friendly governments and lawmakers around the world have helped Taiwan gain access to the triennial ICAO Assembly that opens in Montreal on Tuesday.
Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) is attending the assembly after receiving an invitation to participate as a special guest of ICAO Council president Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.
To learn more about the development of ties across the Taiwan Strait, the group will also visit the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation, which handles Taiwan’s relations with China in the absence of official diplomatic ties.