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Gambian ambassador leaves Taiwan after diplomatic break-up

2013/11/22 22:45:52

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) The Gambia's Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Alhaji Ebrima N.H. Jarjou departed from Taipei Friday, a week after his government unilaterally announced a decision to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Taiwan terminated diplomatic relations with The Gambia on Nov. 18 after the West African state's president surprised Taipei with his announcement to end 18 years of formal ties.

Jarjou was sent off by Richard R.C. Shih, a former ROC ambassador to The Gambia and currently the director general of the foreign ministry's department of protocol, at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Repeatedly expressing his gratitude to Taiwan, Jarjou told reporters what he can say was only "thanks."

Jarjou said that although Gambian President Yahya Jammeh made the decision, he still believes the friendship between the ROC and The Gambia remains and the people of the two countries will treat each other as friends.

Taiwan's ambassador to the West African country, Samuel Chen, returned to Taiwan on Wednesday.

The loss of diplomatic relations with The Gambia means Taiwan now only has 22 diplomatic allies.

(By Chiu Chun-chin and Y.L. Kao)