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Diplomats observe minute of silence for Penghu crash victims

2014/07/24 15:23:16

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) The foreign diplomatic community in Taipei observed a minute of silence Thursday in memory of the the victims of a TransAsia Airways crash in the outlying island county of Penghu the previous night, a Taiwanese official said.

The representatives from 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region were attending a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to discuss this year's Asia-Pacific Culture Day, said Elliott Charng, director-general of MOFA's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

"We observed one minute of silence to mourn the victims of the crash," he told reporters at a news briefing.

"The New Zealand government also expressed its condolences to the victims and asked if there were any New Zealand nationals on the plane," Charng said.

Forty-eight people were killed and 10 injured when TransAsia Airways flight GE222 crashed near the Magong airport in Penghu at about 7 p.m. Wednesday in stormy conditions. Two French women were among the fatalities.

Now in its third year, Asia-Pacific Culture Day is aimed at promoting Taiwanese people's understanding of cultures from other countries in the region though dance, music, arts and food.

The participating countries this year are Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Nauru, Fiji, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands, according to the foreign ministry.

The two-day event at Huashan 1914 Creative Park is scheduled to kick off Sept. 6, but the details are still being worked out, according to Charng, who took up his current post last week. Before that he was Taiwan's representative to New Zealand.

(By Elaine Hou)
ENDITEM/pc

Related stories:
●July 24: France expresses condolences to families of Penghu crash victims
●July 24: Two Frenchwomen killed in TransAsia crash, French office confirms