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Somaliland’s diplomatic ally in Southeast Asia – Taiwan will work with Lithuania’s call for freedom and other like-minded partners to protect shared values, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said yesterday, after the Baltic country’s new political coalition said it would defend “those fighting for freedom” from “Belarus to Taiwan.”

The Lithuanian coalition agreement, signed by leaders of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), Liberal Movement, and Freedom Party, which together won 74 seats in the 141-seat parliament on Oct. 25, binds the new government to carry out a “values-based foreign policy.”

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The three parties are all led by women, Ingrida Simonyte for the TS-LKD, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen for the Liberal Movement, and Ausrine Armonaite for the Freedom Party, according to the Atlantic Council’s Web site.

 “We will actively oppose any violation of human rights and democratic freedoms, and will defend those fighting for freedom around the world, from Belarus to Taiwan,” they said.

“The phrases ‘values-based foreign policy’ & ‘defend those fighting for freedom’ roar like thunder,” Wu wrote on the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Twitter account.

“Taiwan will work with #Lithuania & other like-minded partners to protect our cherished shared values. We’re David fighting Goliath, & we’ll prevail,” he said.

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The newly elected Lithuanian lawmakers are scheduled to assume their posts later this month, the ministry said in a news release.

Lithuania has voiced support for Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO, it added.

Sixty Lithuanian lawmakers last month wrote a joint letter voicing their support for Taiwan to join this week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body, while Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius in May also publicly voiced support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO, it said.

In other diplomatic news, Saudi Arabia’s new representative to Taiwan, Adel Althaidi, arrived in Taiwan on Oct. 28 and would assume his post after his quarantine period ends, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Deputy Director-General Lee Ya-ping told a news briefing yesterday.

Althaidi was the first secretary at Saudi Arabia’s mission to the UN in New York and served as a section chief on multilateral relations at the kingdom’s embassy in Brussels, she said.

Before leaving for Taiwan, he met with Representative to Saudi Arabia Teng Sheng-ping and exchanged opinions about collaborations on trade, culture, education, healthcare, technology, and other areas, she said.

Former Saudi Arabian representative to Taiwan Rafat Al Sayed left Taipei in May.

Meanwhile, a new technical mission in Somaliland would be inaugurated later this month, after the nation’s representative office in Hargeisa opened on Aug. 17, Lee said.

The mission would formally launch three bilateral cooperation projects in the fields of agriculture, information and communications technology, and public healthcare next year, she added.

It is preparing projects to improve local vegetable and fruit production, government digitalization, and healthcare for pregnant women and infants, she said.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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