Former minister of foreign affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) has passed away, sources said yesterday. He was 81.
Sources from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said they learned from Ou’s family on Sunday that he had recently passed away. The sources did not disclose the date nor the cause of death out of respect for his family’s privacy.
KMT sources said that Ou had major surgery in August. His condition continued to deteriorate and he had been hospitalized before his family decided to end life support.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
Ou was accompanied by his family when he passed away in the hospital.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not confirm Ou’s death out of respect to his family.
Ou served as the nation’s top diplomat from May 2008 to September 2009 under former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT.
Prior to becoming the minister of foreign affairs, Ou, who had served as a Spanish interpreter for the late presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-Kuo (蔣經國), had served in government in several diplomatic capacities during his 45-year diplomatic career, mostly with Spanish-speaking Central and South American nations.
Ou had served as ambassador in Nicaragua from 1984 to 1985; twice in Guatemala from 1990 to 1996, and again from 2003 to 2008; and in Spain from 2000 to 2003.
Ou resigned as the foreign minister on Sept. 10, 2009, along with outgoing premier Liu Chao-Shiuan (劉兆玄) and the rest of the Cabinet in Ma’s administration, mostly over the government’s slow response in handling the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot.
In retirement, Ou served as head of several non-governmental organizations promoting Taiwan’s foreign relations, and had frequently attended conferences organized by a KMT think tank.
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