Former Nicaraguan ambassador to Taiwan Mirna Rivera twice refused to meet with Taiwanese officials before the Central American nation cut diplomatic ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that all Taiwanese officials are to exit Nicaragua by tomorrow.
Since Nicaragua switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing on Dec. 9, some commentators have accused Taipei of failing to comprehend what was about to happen.
However, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei that the ministry had understood related information.
Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Taipei Times
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大?) on Dec. 3 summoned Rivera and expressed the nation’s serious concerns about bilateral ties, she said.
The ministry summoned Rivera two more times, but she refused to meet based on some pretext, she added.
In 2018, Rivera, 25, graduated from Ming Chuan University in Taipei on a foreign student scholarship from the ministry. She served as a counselor at Nicaragua’s permanent mission to the UN before becoming Nicaragua’s ambassador to Taiwan in October last year.
Ou said that the ministry’s preparations for closing the embassy in Managua are nearly complete.
Former ambassador to Nicaragua Ivan Lee (李岳融) has returned to Taiwan, while other embassy officials and technical mission personnel are to leave Nicaragua by tomorrow, she added.
Lee had only last month assumed his role in Nicaragua.
After severing diplomatic ties, countries customarily take at least one month to recall personnel, a diplomatic source said.
Given two weeks’ notice, Taiwan had little time to close the embassy and the technical mission, and for staff to depart, the source told the Central News Agency.
Based on the principle of reciprocity, Taipei gave the staff of the Nicaraguan embassy in Taiwan the same amount of time to exit the country, Ou said.
At the embassy in Managua, 52 people — Taiwanese staff members and their families — are readying to leave Nicaragua.
More information about the disposal of the embassy building, which is owned by the ministry, would be shared after it happens and officials have returned home, Ou said.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016, Taiwan has lost eight diplomatic allies.
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