Tsai invites pope to visit, pledges support for peace

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Sep 30, 2017 - Page 4

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday pledged Taiwan’s support for the Vatican’s humanitarian efforts around the world, and invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan.

While receiving Cardinal Peter Turkson, Tsai said that the Vatican’s decision to hold the 24th World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea in Kaohsiung bore significance for Taiwan.

The congress, which is sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, expects to bring together more than 250 academics from 50 countries, with the goal of raising awareness and focusing attention on issues related to fishing and other seafaring occupations, Tsai said.

Tsai gave her best wishes to Turkson, who is prefect of the dicastery, and said that Taiwan supports its efforts to promote peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Vatican and Taiwan, which are diplomatic allies, have had close interaction over the past year, including visits by officials on both sides, she said.

The president said that she invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan in the hope of deepening those exchanges.

Turkson arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday for the 24th World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea, which is to be held in Kaohsiung throughout next week.