Guatemala ambassador set to leave Taiwan to become Mexico envoy
Guatemala’s ambassador to the R.O.C. Arturo Duarte has recently confirmed to local media that he will be leaving Taiwan later this week to take up the top envoy post for his country in Mexico.
Speaking to local press last Friday, Ambassador Duarte said he will be leaving Taiwan on June 14. He said that he received a call from the foreign minister of his country asking him to consider taking up an unexpected ambassadorial vacancy in Mexico.
”We cannot afford not to have an ambassador there, this is why the minister called me,” he said.
The ambassador said every diplomat is expected to stay in a country for a duration of three to five years and he first arrived Taiwan three years ago on June 13, 2012.
He said his departure is part of a normal rotation of diplomatic personnel.
Asked to comment on whether a new Guatemala president could mean a change of relationship with Taiwan with an upcoming presidential election, the ambassador said his country’s diplomatic relationships with both sides of the Taiwan Strait will be decided by the new leader.
Duarte noted that there is one presidential candidate who has expressed an interest with developing a relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). But he doesn’t know if the candidate will win the election.
Even if that person ultimately wins, it does not mean that the candidate will do what he said during the campaign, he noted.
The ambassador said it will have to wait until Guatemala elects a new head of state to decide on whether to strengthen its relationship with Taiwan or change direction.
He added that Guatemala cannot ignore the fact that the PRC is now the second-largest economy in the world, a force they have to recognize.
He noted that some diplomatic allies of the R.O.C. have also decided to open commercial or trade offices in China.
Guatemala is expected to hold general elections Sept. 6 to elect the president and vice president.
Meanwhile, asked to comment, Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lin ( ) told local media last Friday that it is too early to tell if the Guatemalan election results could affect bilateral ties.
Taiwan’s embassy in the Central American ally has close contact with every presidential candidate and will closely monitor the campaign and the results.
Also, the minister said Guatemala and the R.O.C. are still deciding who will take over the vacancy to be left following Ambassador Duarte’s imminent departure.