The Republic of Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan was yesterday inaugurated by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Somaliland Representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, with both emphasizing the nations’ common values of freedom and democracy, and cooperation on trade and energy sources.
The Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland was opened in Hargeisa on Aug. 17. It is the nation’s only embassy that has “Taiwan” in its English name.
While Taiwan and Somaliland do not have diplomatic relations, the announcement in July of the planned representative offices brought condemnation from China and Somalia, with each saying that their territorial integrity is indivisible.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Taiwan and Somaliland have since 2009 collaborated on healthcare, education and maritime security, and the new office’s opening marks a new chapter in bilateral relations, Wu said, naming fisheries, energy and agriculture among the areas targeted for cooperation.
The two nations “share a commitment to safeguarding the values of freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law,” he said. “We both face external pressures, but we are proud of our sovereignty and ready to defend it.”
“From now on, Taiwan is your second home,” Wu told Mohamoud and diplomatic personnel from Hargeisa.
In his speech, Mohamoud described Somaliland-Taiwan ties as a special and historic relationship between “two champions of democracies in Africa and Asia.”
Somaliland is a free, democratic, independent and sovereign nation, that has established bilateral relations with many other countries in Africa, North America, Europe and Asia, he said.
The path to a more prosperous world is through dialogue and cooperation, not through the pursuit of a foreign policy that infringes on the affairs of other nations and sows the seeds of division, he added.
The Somaliland government is encouraging international investment through incentives such as tax exemptions and land leases, he said.
The nation’s resources of hydrocarbon deposits, coal, gemstones and industrial minerals are worth the investment, he said, adding that seismic surveys have indicated potential oil and gas deposits in the nation.
Ecotourism is another potential area for investment, with visitors encouraged to explore ancient caves, beautiful beaches and mountains, and spectacular landscapes, he added.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi sent his best wishes in a prerecorded video.
“With the global economy shifting, and the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden becoming focal points of international interest, we believe that it is time for Somaliland to initiate efforts to strengthen relations in areas of common interest that may promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation among equals with your country and all other nations in the world,” he said. “The bilateral accord of our two countries is based on our common values of freedom and democracy. It is a spirit of mutual assistance that will never expose any harm whatsoever to the interests of other countries, but rather contributes to international peace and regional economic activities.”
The Somaliland office is on Ningbo W Street in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District (中正), although yesterday’s ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, reportedly due to the office’s limited space.
‘HARD DECISION’: The international medical society now only refers to Taiwanese groups as from ‘Chinese Taipei,’ after the WHO asked that it make the change Two Taiwanese medical groups have been forced to change the word “Taiwan” in their membership names for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to “Chinese Taipei,” due to a request by the WHO. The two groups are the Taiwan Society of Radiological Technologists (TWSRT) and the Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT). On Dec. 23 last year, the TAMRT posted on Facebook screenshots of a letter it received from the ISRRT, informing it that the two groups’ membership names would be changed from “Taiwan - TWSRT” and “Taiwan - TAMRT” to “Chinese Taipei - TWSRT” and “Chinese Taipei
‘NO MORE’: Pompeo’s decision was not rushed before the change of administration, but was the result of a long review of Taiwan-US ties, a US assistant secretary said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced that the US Department of State is voiding long-standing restrictions on how US diplomats and others have contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, just a little over a week before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Pompeo instructed executive branch agencies to consider “all ‘contact guidelines’ regarding relations with Taiwan ... to be null and void.” “For several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States government took these actions
CONTACTS TRACED: The doctor and his nurse girlfriend, who also tested positive, have only mild symptoms, but their cases have led to hundreds of people being tested The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday. The second local case, No. 839, is the doctor’s girlfriend, a nurse who works at the same hospital. Case No. 838, a man in his 30s, is a doctor in a hospital in northern Taiwan that has been treating COVID-19 cases, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. He was in a negative-pressure isolation ward where one of the confirmed patients was staying
DEPARTURE CEREMONY: Guam’s governor hailed the US’ move to end restrictions on contacts with Taiwanese officials, saying it would help the territory build ties with Taipei A humanitarian charter flight, carrying dozens of people who had either been stranded on Guam and Saipan amid border closures or were in need of medical treatment, arrived in Taiwan at 5:25pm yesterday. The flight, operated by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with 47 passengers and 13 crew aboard. Five of the passengers had applied to local hospitals for treatment of tumors, heart arrhythmia or other conditions, and were approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, while four more are family members, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the spokesman