CHINA POST – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is expressing hope that the St. Lucian ambassador to the R.O.C. will assume office next month after the ally government recently confirmed the appointment of the envoy.
The Caribbean ally has decided who will be the ally’s ambassador to Taiwan, Lino Cheng , deputy head of MOFA’s Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, said yesterday at a news briefing.
The appointment had undergone internal procedures within the St. Lucian government including a review during a recent cabinet meeting during which authorities approved the assignment, he said.
However, the ally government has not yet officially informed the R.O.C. embassy in the country about the appointment, he said.
“We have to wait until they send an official letter to announce the appointment before our government can confirm the appointment,” he said.
Cheng disclosed that the ambassador is a male diplomat who had previously visited Taiwan for short term study. He can speak Mandarin Chinese, Cheng added.
Cheng expressed hope that the top envoy can officially assume his office in Taiwan next month.
The St. Lucian ambassador will be the first ambassador the ally has sent to Taiwan since the country recently opened its embassy in the R.O.C.
The Caribbean nation opened its embassy in Taiwan on June 4 as a concrete effort to show strong bilateral ties, making the R.O.C. the first country in Asia in which St. Lucia has established an embassy.
St. Lucia first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984, but switched recognition to China in 1997. In 2007, after 10 years of relations with Beijing, the then-ruling United Workers Party government renewed ties with Taipei after coming into office.
Meanwhile, regarding the recently-concluded state visit of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Cheng said the ally president had a business opportunities briefing in Taipei to attract more Taiwanese investment to his country during his stay in Taipei on July 24 and 25,
Hernandez, who visited Taiwan for the first time under the capacity as president, also met with President Ma Ying-jeou and both sides signed a joint statement, Cheng said.
Asked to comment on whether there will be future cooperation between both sides, the MOFA official said the Honduran leader had ask Taiwan to assist with the nation!|s plan to become a regional logistic center in the Latin America and Caribbean area.
Related government authorities are still deciding on whether to place investment in the project, Cheng said.
According to MOFA, the state visit was part of the Central American leader’s Asia trip that also included Japan and South Korea. Taiwan was the last stop of his Asian visit.