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Eswatini health minister visits Taiwan

2019/03/17 20:19:27

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 17 (CNA) Eswatini Minister of Health Lizzy Nkosi arrived in Taiwan Sunday for a five-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral exchanges in the areas of health and medical care, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that day.

The health minister, who was appointed in November last year, is accompanied by a delegation that includes Velephi Okello, deputy director of health services under the ministry, according to a MOFA statement.

During their visit, the two will meet with Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and attend a banquet to be hosted by Vice Foreign Minister Miguel Tsao (曹立傑).

During their meetings, Nkosi and various Taiwanese officials will discuss ways to enhance two-way exchanges in health and medical care and how to help Taiwan's bid to attend this year's World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), which will take place in Geneva May 20-28, MOFA said.

The delegation from the nation's only African diplomatic ally will also visit the TaiwanICDF, a government-funded agency that runs the country's foreign aid programs, and a number of hospitals in Taipei, it added.

Taiwan attended the WHA as an observer under the name Chinese Taipei from 2009 to 2016 with the help of the United States amid better relations with China during the previous Kuomintang (KMT) administration.

Since 2017, however, China has blocked the WHO from inviting Taiwan to attend, in line with its hard-line stance on cross-Taiwan Strait relations adopted when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.

Since then, Taiwan has been seeking support from its diplomatic allies and like-minded countries to support its possible return to the WHA.

(By Joseph Yeh)