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Foreign ministry closes office in Bangladesh

Foreign ministry closes office in Bangladesh

Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Taiwan has officially closed its representative office in Dhaka, Bangladesh in an effort to put the country's diplomatic resources to better use.
“Since the establishment of the Foreign Ministry's representative office in Bangladesh 2004, it has faced many restrictions and has not been able to receive better treatment (from Bangladesh's government) , ”the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement released Tuesday.
“The MOFA therefore shut down its representative office in Bangladesh June 30 in order to make better use of national resources under the government's flexible diplomacy,”it added.
According to the MOFA, its representative office in New Delhi, India will take over related services after the closure of the office in Bangladesh, which leaves Taiwan with 120 offices around the world.
Foreign Minister Francisco H.L. Ou said June 6 that in an effort to put the country's diplomatic resources to better use, the government would close down five underutilized overseas offices in the coming months, including its representative offices in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Bangladesh, its consulate-general in Colon, Panama, and its liaison office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ou cited a perception of unfriendliness of some of the countries toward Taiwan and the existence of offices within close proximity of each other as reasons for the closures.
Bangladesh's government, for instance, was unwilling to have any contact with Taiwanese officials and refused to allow the MOFA's representative office to offer visa services, according to Ou.
In the case of the Johannesburg office, it is only about a 10-minute drive from Taiwan's main South African mission located in Pretoria, and a similar situation exists between the Colon consulate-general and Taiwan's embassy in Panama.
(By Rachel Chan)