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September 23, 2017

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Honduras may send new ambassador to Taiwan: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Central American ally Honduras is expected to send a new ambassador to Taiwan "in the near future," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

Jamie Chen (陳新東), director-general of MOFA's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, said the R.O.C. government has been calling on the ally to send a new envoy after the ally called back its ambassador to Taiwan last year.

During a previous state visit to the Central American country this January to attend the inauguration ceremony of president Juan Orlando Hernandez, President Ma Ying-jeou had expressed his concern over the absence of a Honduran ambassador in the R.O.C., Chen said.

According to Chen, the new Honduran government has yet to send a new ambassador to the R.O.C. mainly because its administration is currently undergoing a wave of structural streamlining.

The government structural reforms and reviews have involved different government sectors, including its appointment of overseas diplomats, he said.

But according to his understanding, the ally is expected to send a new ambassador to Taiwan soon.

The new assignment is expected to take place in the near future, Chen said, without giving a more detailed timetable.

Honduras recalled its ambassador to Taiwan, Mario Alberto Fortin Midence, last May amid reported plans to forge closer ties with China and concerns that it will eventually shift diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Since then, Honduras has been represented in Taiwan by a charge d'affaires.

Alejandro Young, former charge d'affaires of the Embassy of Honduras in Taiwan, was called back to the Central American country on March 31.

Misael Vallecille, a former minister at the embassy, has replaced Young as Honduras' representative to Taiwan since April 1.

Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) previously said that ambassador Mario Alberto Fortin Midence was called back to take up a post as a special advisor to the foreign minister and the departure of the envoy has nothing to do with the ally's reported plan to establish ties with Beijing.

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