Gu­atemala am­bas­sador set to leave Tai­wan to be­come Mex­ico en­voy

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

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.

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