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Taiwan speaks up for religious freedom at Washington forum

2019/07/19 19:08

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) Taiwanese officials reiterated the country's support for religious freedom on the final day of a three-day forum on religious freedom in Washington on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Friday.

"On today's momentous occasion, Taiwan renews its unwavering commitment to uphold fundamental human rights, human dignity, cultural diversity and ultimate religious freedom, and we call on all nations to join us," Taiwan's representative to Washington Stanley Kao (高碩泰) said in a speech at the event Thursday.

He also relayed President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) belief that the religious freedom enjoyed in Taiwan is an integral part of its democratic way of life and one of the most important assets Taiwan can share with the international community, according to MOFA.

Kao's comments came at this year's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and attended by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Also in attendance was Taiwan ambassador-at-large for religious freedom Pusing Tali, who met with Sam Brownback, U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, to discuss Taiwan's meaningful participation on religious freedom and human rights in the international community.

During the meeting, Pusing Tali described Taiwan as a beacon for democracy and religious freedom, in which different religions respect and appreciate each other and dialogue among religions is also vibrant.

Kao was attending the annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom for the second year in a row after appearing at its inaugural session in July 2018.

Following last year's meeting, Taiwan hosted an international forum on religious freedom in the Indo-Pacific region in Taipei in March 2019 and pledged US$1 million to the Department of State's International Religious Freedom Fund to support global efforts to eliminate religious persecution.

It also named Pusing Tali to the newly created post of ambassador for religious freedom.

(By Emerson Lim and Chiang Chin-yeh)Enditem/ls