Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu on Wednesday vowed deeper cooperation with Somaliland to help overcome the shared predicament of international isolation.
Speaking on Wednesday during a meeting with Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Essa Kayd Mohamoud at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wu said that the two countries have an exclusive understanding of what it is like to be largely unrecognized by the majority of the world’s countries and intergovernmental organizations.
“This is why Taiwan will continue to support Somaliland’s ongoing democratic construction and promote bilateral cooperation, particularly in areas such as energy, telecommunications, agriculture and medicine,” Wu told Kayd, who is leading a ministerial delegation to Taiwan.
Wu also proposed closer economic, trade, talent and capacity-building exchanges, a ministry statement said.
Kayd expressed gratitude to Taiwan’s private and public sectors for offering assistance to his country in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that Taiwan is an important partner of Somaliland and that both share democratic values, such as freedom and human rights.
Kayd said Somaliland’s determination in strengthening relations with Taiwan would not change “despite external pressure,” a reference to coercion from Somalia and China.
Relations between Taiwan and Somaliland have warmed over the years, with Taipei opening a representative office in the capital Hargeisa on Aug. 17, 2020, and Somaliland opening a reciprocal office in Taipei the following month on Sept. 9.
Taiwan has diplomatic relations with only 14 countries. Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 after years of conflict, does not have formal ties with any states.
This is a result of China and Somalia holding claims over the self-ruled territories.
Taiwan and Somaliland have circumvented these obstacles by opening representative offices instead of embassies in a number of countries.
Despite warming relations, a ministry official would not give a direct answer yesterday when asked if Taiwan is considering establishing official diplomatic relations with Somaliland.
Department of West Asian and African Affairs Deputy Director Wu Cheng-wei said that Taiwan would continue to enhance relations with Somaliland on all fronts.
The delegation is scheduled to depart on Saturday.
Aside from meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and other senior government officials, the delegation is also to meet with local business representatives, including state-run oil supplier CPC Corp, Taiwan, to exchange views and discuss deepening bilateral cooperation, the ministry said.
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