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Foreign Ministry non-committal on recall of ambassador to St. Lucia

2012/04/25 14:36:10

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted Wednesday that envoys posted abroad are evaluated regularly but would not say if it would recall Taiwan's ambassador to St. Lucia as requested by the Caribbean country's newly elected leader.

"Evaluations are held on a regular basis, and a personnel reshuffle will be made under necessary conditions," said Jaime Wu, director-general of the ministry's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs.

The English-language China Post reported on April 22 that St. Lucia's prime minister, Kenny Anthony, urged Taiwan to change its ambassador, Tom Chou, after President Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated for a second term on May 20.

"I have asked for the recall of Ambassador Tom Chou ... His behavior in St. Lucia over the last couple of years is unacceptable to the government of St. Lucia," Anthony said, according to the report.

"As far as we are concerned, his presence in St. Lucia is not in the best interest of Taiwan and the government and people of St. Lucia, at this time," he was quoted as saying.

Anthony, who was elected prime minister in November 2011, has accused Chou of influencing St. Lucia's election by supporting the then-ruling United Workers Party (UWP). He also pledged to review diplomatic relations with Taiwan after taking power.

St. Lucia first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984 but switched recognition to China in 1997 after Anthony was elected prime minister for the first time.

In 2007, the UWP government, which had regained power 2006, renewed ties with Taipei.

St. Lucia is one of Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies worldwide.

(By Nancy Liu)