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Departing Guatemala ambassador downplays concerns about Taiwan ties

Departing Guatemala ambassador downplays concerns about Taiwan ties

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Guatemala's ambassador to Taiwan is scheduled to leave Taiwan this weekend after concluding a three-year term in the country, but insisted that his departure did not signal a change in relations between the longtime allies. Due to an "unexpected vacancy" in Mexico, Ambassador Arturo Duarte said he received a request from Guatemala's foreign minister to fill a similar post there. During an interview with local media last week, Duarte confirmed that he will leave Taiwan on June 14, but said it was simply a "normal" change as part of a rotation of diplomatic personnel. The term for a Guatemalan diplomat serving in a foreign country is usually three to five years, he said. Downplaying concerns that his departure might suggest a change in bilateral ties, he said his government has chosen a new ambassador to Taiwan, who is expected to arrive in Taiwan in the near future to take up the post. Asked about the issue, Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin (???) stressed that bilateral ties between the Republic of China (Taiwan's formal name) and Guatemala are solid. Duarte noted that one of the candidates in Guatemala's presidential election in September has stated that if elected, his government will be "more interested in having a relationship with" Beijing. Even if a candidate says that during his campaign, however, it does not mean that he will do that if elected, Duarte said. Some presidential candidates have highlighted the issue of relations between Taiwan and Guatemala in their campaigns, he said, but once a new president is elected, his administration will evaluate which country his government will be more interested in working with. Asked to describe the current state of bilateral relations between Taiwan and Guatemala, he said the direction has not changed. The two countries have seen growing ties in the areas of trade, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said. Guatemala is one of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic ties. Guatemala established official ties in 1933 with the Republic of China and has stayed loyal to the ROC since it moved its seat of government to Taiwan after the Chinese civil war in 1949. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-19 18:33 GMT+08:00