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Ex-president of EU member country to attend Ma's inauguration

2012/04/26 13:48:16

Taipei, April 26 (CNA) A former president from a European Union member country will attend President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration to his second term next month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Declining to disclose the name of the invited guest, James Lee, director-general of the ministry's Department of European Affairs, said only that "the person has been to Taiwan before."

An announcement will be made closer to the May 20 inauguration day, Lee said in response to a reporter's question at a routine press conference.

The director-general noted that delegations from the EU, the European Parliament and the Vatican will also visit Taiwan to attend the inauguration.

The number of guests from Europe is estimated to be fewer than 20 because the Presidential Office has decided that the ceremony should be relatively low-key, conducted in a "simple but grand manner," he said.

The office has said previously that there will be no fireworks or celebration parties this year because Ma is already on the job and is focusing on cutting unnecessary spending.

"We originally planned to host 13 delegations from Europe," Lee said.

However, as the ceremony will be held at "a historic venue" where seating is limited, only "representative guests" will be invited, he noted.

(By Nancy Liu)