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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan donates helicopters to Guatemala for relief efforts

ROC Central News Agency

2012/12/11 18:19:21

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Taiwan donated two helicopters and a variety of components to diplomatic ally Guatemala Monday, a move that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said would help the Central American country to boost its ability to respond to natural disasters.

Two decommissioned UH-1H utility helicopters were dispatched to Guatemala, while the components will be used to revamp two existing choppers, said Jaime Wu, director-general of the ministry's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs.

The helicopters will be used to undertake relief and rescue operations during natural disasters such as earthquakes, Wu said in response to reporters' questions at a news briefing.

However, the ministry's statement seemed to be at odds with a message posted on Guatemala Vice President Roxana Baldetti's Facebook page Monday.

According to Baldetti, Taiwan actually delivered four helicopters to Guatemala, to be used to reinforce the country's security strategy and the fight against drug trafficking.

Asked by CNA about the discrepancy in the number, Wu said that the Taiwan-donated components are being used to get two Guatemalan helicopters back into the air.

Wu said that the main purpose of the donated choppers is for humanitarian aid efforts and that he did not know why Baldetti stated different purposes for the helicopters.

(By Elaine Hou)

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