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Large U.S. congressional delegation to attend Ma's inauguration

2012/05/18 19:05:03

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) A delegation of United States congressmen, led by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, will attend President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration May 20, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday.

The delegation is by far the "highest ranking and the largest in scale" of any congressional group to have traveled to Taiwan for a presidential inauguration, according to a ministry statement.

The delegation, comprising over 20 members of Congress across party lines, will arrive on a military charter flight May 20 for a three-day visit, during which it will call on Ma, Vice President-elect Wu Den-yih, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, Premier Sean Chen and Foreign Minister Timothy Yang, the ministry said.

The group will also meet with officials from the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council, it added.

"The visit should help them get a better understanding of Taiwan and Taiwan-U.S. issues," the statement said.

Meanwhile, former White House Chief of Staff William Daley will lead another five-member delegation to Taiwan to congratulate Ma, who is being inaugurated for a second term.

Daley will be joined by former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, former Director of Policy Planning in the State Department Anne-Marie Slaughter, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt, and former AIT Chairman and Managing Director Richard Bush.

The AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

(By Nancy Liu)