Taiwan Foreign Ministry rep. meets US officials, announces aid to Iraq and Syria

As a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State, Taiwan has offered US$1 million and equipment to assist in de-mining operations in the war-torn region

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US officials meet Taiwanese diplomat Stanley Kao at the US Institute of Peace, in DC, July 9 (Left to Right: Laura Stone, John Norris, Stanley Kao, Te (By Central News Agency)

TAIWAN (Taipei News) – On Monday, July 9 Taiwan’s representative to the United States, Stanley Kao, announced that Taiwan would contribute US$1 million to help the United States in the global campaign to defeat the Islamic State in its remaining holdouts in Iraq and Syria.

At an event hosted by the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., U.S. officials expressed their gratitude for Taiwan’s efforts to wipe out the Islamic extremists and promote humanitarian aid and stability in the war-torn region.

Stanley Kao was quoted by CNA as saying “As a member of the global community, Taiwan will not remain silent in its contributions to international humanitarian effort.”

The contribution from Taiwan will be used primarily for de-mining operations in the two countries, with VOA reporting that in addition to the funds, 20 sets of de-mining equipment will be sent to Iraq to hasten the clean-up of former battle-zones.

In the past, Taiwan has donated temporary housing units for refugees displaced by the conflict in the region, reports CNA.

Terry Wolf, the deputy special Presidential envoy for the Global Coalition said that “Taiwan is a valuable partner” of the nations dedicated to wiping out the violent terror group.

Also present was U.S. official Laura Stone, the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs of the State Department, who was quoted by VOA as saying:

“The one million dollar contribution this year is not only emblematic of the responsible role that Taiwan plays, but also would be a concrete contribution to saving many lives.”

With Taiwan included, there are 77 nations comprising the coalition to eradicate the extremist Islamic terror group. That coalition does not currently include China, reports VOA.

The managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan's D.C. office, John Norris was also present at the event on Monday.

The announcement made in Washington came just one day before Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council signed an MOU with the State Company for Iraqi Fair and Commercial Services in Taipei on Tuesday, in a sign of growing relations between Taiwan and Iraq, reports CNA.

The meeting of Taiwan representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao with the State Department official Laura Stone and Presidential Envoy Terry Wolf at the event announcing Taiwan’s continued engagement with the international community is another example of strengthening ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.

The gathering of government officials on Monday precedes a higher level diplomatic meeting planned for early next week when Taiwan’s MAC minister Chen Ming-tong will fly to Washington D.C. to meet with State Department officials, and possibly a member of the White House National Security Council.