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Kiribati opens embassy in Taiwan

2013/05/31 22:04:51

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) Kiribati opened its embassy in Taiwan on Friday, with the new mission being the first one the country has outside the South Pacific region.

During the opening ceremony, Kiribati President Anote Tong, who is in Taipei on a state visit, noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and his country, according to a statement released by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday.

Tong expressed appreciation for the medical assistance Taiwan has provided to his country. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on Nov. 7, 2003.

Also at the ceremony, Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin thanked Kiribati, as Tong has spoken up at several international meetings in support of Taiwan joining organizations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Teekoa Iuta, a former cabinet secretary-general of Kiribati, is named as the country's first ambassador to Taiwan, the MOFA statement said.

The Kiribati embassy in Taiwan is located on the 12th floor of the Taipei World Trade Center's International Trade Building.

Kiribati is one of 23 nations that has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, instead of China.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Kay Liu)