Taiwan ready to host Asia Pacific religious freedom forum: MOFA - Focus Taiwan

Taiwan ready to host Asia Pacific religious freedom forum: MOFA

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) Taiwan has expressed an interest in hosting a U.S.-organized ministerial level forum on religious freedom, Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said Monday.

Fielding questions during a Legislative hearing, Hsieh told lawmakers that Taiwan is in talks with the U.S. on possibly hosting a forum on religious freedom in the Asia Pacific region.

"We expressed our interest and welcomed such a meeting being held in Taiwan," Hsieh told lawmakers.

Hsieh said the first such meeting organized by the U.S. State Department was held in July in Washington. The three-day forum featured authorities from over 80 countries with a record for advancing religious freedom, according to a State Department press release.

Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S. Stanley Kao (高碩泰) also attended the meeting on behalf of the ROC government, according to Hsieh.

Hsieh said the U.S. has proposed that the next meeting could be held in the Asia Pacific region, though it has yet to make a more concrete proposal including when the meeting will be held. Hsieh indicated Taiwan has already expressed its interest in hosting such an event to the U.S.

As a model for human rights and religious freedom, Taiwan is more than qualified to host such an international forum, Hsieh said.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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