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Taiwan suspending operations at 3 overseas offices

ROC Central News Agency

2017/07/27 18:48:33

Taipei, July 27 (CNA) Taiwan is suspending operations at its representative offices in Jeddah, Guam and Norway, in an effort to make better use of the country's resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

The decision to suspend operations at the three offices came after a review of all overseas operation earlier this year, said ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲).

The representative office in Jeddah, a city in western Saudi Arabia, suspended operations on Thursday and operations at the offices in Guam and Norway will be suspended on Aug. 31 and Sept. 30, respectively, the ministry said in a statement.

The work of the Jeddah office will now be handled by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while the work conducted by the Guam office and the Norway office will be covered by Taiwan's embassy in Palau and Taiwan's representative office in Sweden, respectively, the ministry said.

Despite the suspension of operations at the three offices, Taiwan will continue to maintain relations with Jeddah, Guam and Norway, seek to promote bilateral exchanges and ensure the rights of Taiwanese nationals living there, Wang said.

Although operations have been or will be suspended, they could be resumed if the need arises, Wang said, which is why the ministry is saying the offices have been "suspended," not "closed."

In September 2016, Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維) said the ministry planned to downsize its overseas representative offices in an effort to improve the overall efficiency of the country's diplomatic corps.

(By Elaine Hou)

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