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Ma meets with new Vatican representative

President calls for closer ties with the Vatican after appointment of new charge d'affairs

President Ma Ying-jeou, right, welcomes Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, who will soon assume his new post as the Holy See's charge d'affairs in Taipei. At t...

President Ma Ying-jeou, right, welcomes Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, who will soon assume his new post as the Holy See's charge d'affairs in Taipei. At t...

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that he wishes to have a truce with Mainland China in the diplomatic arena, so that the two sides across the Taiwan Strait can co-exist peacefully with each other and work together to promote their economic prosperity.
Ma made the remark in his meeting with the Holy See's new charge d'affairs in Taiwan, Msgr. Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, and his predecessor, Msgr. Ambrose Madtha, at the Presidential Office yesterday.
During the meeting, Ma said that relations between the Republic of China on Taiwan and the Vatican have been harmonious; adding that he hopes the sound foundations can be built upon and strengthened following Fitzpatrick Russell's appointment to work in Taipei.
Ma noted that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) visited the Holy See in May 2005 to attend the late Pope John Paul II's funeral. Ma also recalled his own visit to the Vatican in his capacity as a professor more than 10 years ago, saying that he was very impressed by what he saw in that country.
Ma referred to the incumbent ambassador to the Vatican, Tou Chou-seng (杜筑生), as a good friend of his, saying that he was confident about the future relations between the two countries, considering Tou's background as a very capable and experienced diplomat.
Fitzpatrick Russell was named the Vatican's new diplomatic representative to Taiwan in early May, after his predecessor Madtha was named as Apostolic Nuncio to the Ivory Coast in West Africa.
Ma, who was accompanied by National Security Council (國家安全會議) Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起) and other top officials, noted that relations between Taiwan and the Vatican were very close during Ambrose's five-plus years as the Holy See's representative, adding that he will be missed by the people of Taiwan.
The Vatican is the only state in Europe that diplomatically recognizes the Republic of China on Taiwan.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:48 GMT+08:00