Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Monday left on a seven-day trip to the three Baltic states, where he is to attend forums and give speeches to underscore Taiwan’s resolve to safeguard democracy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.
Wu is to attend a forum in Lithuania, where discussions are to be held on the future of democracy, the ministry said in a statement.
Wu is also to deliver speeches at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in Riga and the International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn, Estonia, to relay the determination of Taiwanese to fight for democracy in the face of authoritarian regimes, the ministry said.
Photo: Yang Cheng-yu, Taipei Times
Wu is to meet representatives from political and academic circles in the three countries to exchange views on a wide range of issues related to politics, economics and society, it said.
In a show of support for Taiwan, Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Riigikogu, Zygimantas Pavilionis, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Seimas, and Rihards Kols, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Saeima, visited Taiwan from Aug. 6 to 11, the ministry said.
Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen also visited Taiwan from Oct. 22 to 25, the ministry said, calling the visits proof of increasing bilateral exchanges between Taiwan and the Baltic nations.
Separately, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) arrived in the Cook Islands on Monday to take part in an event that coincides with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the ministry said.
Tien is visiting until Monday next week to participate in the “Taiwan/ROC-Forum Countries Dialogue” being held alongside the PIF meeting, it added.
Tien would act on behalf of Taiwan’s government in interacting with the leaders of diplomatic allies the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu, which are members of the PIF, to enhance bilateral ties and discuss collaboration plans.
The PIF is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the countries and territories of Oceania, including the formation of a trade bloc and regional peacekeeping operations.
It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum, and changed its name in 1999 to be more inclusive in its membership, which spans island countries in the north and south Pacific, including Australia.
The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting is being held in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands, until Friday under the theme “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper.”
Despite not being a member, Taiwan has taken part in the forum’s affiliated or side events as a “development partner” under the name of “Taiwan / Republic of China” since 1993, the ministry said.
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