TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) will deliver a keynote speech at a think tank conference in Slovakia and receive a medal from Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, but he canceled his visit to Italy due to time constraints, reports said Thursday (Oct. 21).
Wu will make a rare tour of European Union member countries, which maintain no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but whose unofficial ties with the Asian country have improved during the COVID-19 pandemic amid bullying by China.
On his first stop, Wu will address the conference about “Resilience and Global Economic Cooperation after the Pandemic” organized by the GLOBSEC think tank in Slovakia on Oct. 26, CNA reported.
In the Czech capital Prague, Vystrcil will bestow a medal on the Taiwan minister, who will also meet with the city’s mayor, Zdenek Hrib, an outspoken supporter of and repeated visitor to the Asian country.
However, Wu will have to cancel his planned appearance at an Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) conference in the Italian capital Rome due to time constraints, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Thursday. He still plans to address the event by phone or video conference, according to MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安).
As the foreign minister visits Europe, a delegation headed by National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) will travel through Lithuania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic for a mission focused more on trade and economic cooperation issues.