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'Peaceful dialogue' key to transitional justice: ex-Polish president

2018/02/03 14:02:14

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and former Polish President Lech Walesa

Gdansk, Poland, Feb. 2 (CNA) The key to achieving transitional justice is peaceful dialogue, according to Lech Walesa, a former president of Poland, during a meeting with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Friday.

Ko, who is currently on an official tour of three European nations and Turkey, met with Walesa at his office in Gdansk, a port city on the Baltic coast, to discuss two important issues for Taiwan: relations with mainland China and transitional justice.

While the mayor did not reveal much of what was said about the first topic, he did say that he was inspired by the former president's experience in transitional justice, something Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) administration is pursuing.

Walesa, a labor activist, was the leader behind the solidarity movement in Poland that ultimately led to the fall of communism in the country.

According to Ko, he was interested in how Walesa, who served as president between 1990 and 1995, dealt with the communist officials who still worked in the government in a post-communist state.

Walesa said that peaceful communication was key in making the transition, a lesson that Ko noted has inspired him to think more about the issue.

Though Taiwan does not enjoy official diplomatic ties with Poland, its capital Taipei and Poland's capital Warsaw are sister cities.

Ko said that Walesa promised him that he would be happy to speak up for Taiwan internationally should the need ever arise.

Poland is the third leg of Ko's current tour of Europe and Eurasia that has already taken him to the Netherlands and Belgium. He will visit Turkey before concluding his trip next Tuesday.

Ko's office arranged the trip so he and other city government officials can learn more about urban renewal, the circular economy, smart cities and shared transportation in major cities.

On Wednesday, Ko addressed the European Parliament in Brussels, touting Taipei's values.

The mayor said Taipei's acceptance of different cultures and ideas is its defining value, and that it has been incorporating progressive Western ideals into its Chinese society.

(By Lin Yu-li and Kuan-lin Liu)