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15 allies, 8 like-minded nations, speak for Taiwan at WHA

2019/05/23 15:28:41

Image taken from twitter.com/UN

Geneva, May 22 (CNA) A total of 15 of Taiwan's 17 diplomatic allies and eight like-minded non-ally countries have spoken up for Taiwan's participation at the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the plenary session of the annual meeting concluded Wednesday in Geneva.

The 15 allies are the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau, St. Lucia, Tuvalu, Haiti, Belize, eSwatini, St. Christopher and Nevis, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Paraguay, Honduras and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guatemala.

The eight like-minded countries that also voiced direct or indirect support for Taiwan's WHA push are the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand.

Nicaragua and the Vatican are Taiwan's only two diplomatic allies that did not speak in support of the nation's WHA bid over the past three days of the plenary session, nor did they send letters to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to show their support prior to the opening of the WHA.

Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe, the Vatican, is not a member of the WHO, but an observer, and rarely speaks on political issues during the WHA.

Asked to comment, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that although Nicaragua's representative did not speak in support of Taiwan at the WHA, vice president Rosario Murillo issued a statement Wednesday in support of Taiwan's health-related aid and support to the Central American country.

Wu said that each diplomatic ally uses its own approach to show support to the country, for which Taiwan expresses gratitude.

According to the foreign ministry, in a statement broadcast on Nicaragua's national TV station Wednesday, Murillo expressed gratitude to Taiwan for sending a team of chronic kidney disease (CKD) experts to her country to share expertise and practical experience in fighting CKD, while launching a new initiative to combat the disease.

Nicaragua's government was excited to see the visiting experts and the launch of the initiative, she added.

She thanked the Taiwanese government and people for helping families in Nicaragua to improve their health and welfare.

Although Murillo did not directly voice her country's support for Taiwan's WHA bid, the foreign ministry saw the statement as support for Taiwan's overall assistance.

(By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and Joseph Yeh)
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