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Portuguese parliamentarian wants presence in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed pleasure on Tuesday to a call recently issued by the head of a Taiwan-friendly group in the Portuguese parliament for Portugal to set up a representative office in Taiwan.

Carina Joao Reis Oliveira, chairwoman of the group, said that Portugal needs to set up a representative office in Taiwan. She also asked why Portugal has established bilateral relations with China and South Korea but has not done so with Taiwan, according to foreign media reports.

Oliveira also suggested that Taiwan participate in activities organized by Portuguese-language speaking nations and organizations as an observer, according to reports.

While expressing welcome for Oliveira's call, a MOFA official said that voices in support of Taiwan are heard in the Portuguese parliament and added that they can be conveyed to that country's executive branch.

Taiwan has consistently urged Portugal to set up a representative office in Taiwan, but has not been successful so far, the official said.

Since Oliveira assumed her post in the Taiwan-friendly group in 2011, she has devoted great efforts to promoting Taiwan-Portugal relations, the official said, adding that during a visit she made to Taiwan in April, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin conferred the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy to her in honor of her outstanding contributions to promoting ties between the two countries.

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