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September, 29, 2016

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Gov't confirms Taiwan won't get ICAO invite

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government expressed regret and dissatisfaction Friday after it was confirmed that Taiwan would not receive an invitation to attend next week's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly.

"This is extremely unfair treatment of Taiwan," President Tsai Ing-wen said.

Taiwan's absence from the forum will be a great loss to the international community's aviation security, she added.

Tsai made the remarks while receiving a European Parliament trade delegation. During their meeting, Tsai sought continued European support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations such as the ICAO.

Tsai's statement was echoed by Foreign Minister David Lee, who said at a separate event, "This is a wrong decision — it is severe unjust treatment of Taiwan."

Aviation security is apolitical and no political considerations should get in the way of work that could save lives, Lee said.

The minister had earlier confirmed during a legislative session that the U.N. agency would not be issuing an invitation to Taiwan for the triennial ICAO assembly, which will be held Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 at the organization's headquarters in Montreal.

The U.S. State Department had expressed support for Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in the ICAO.

The government last week announced that it would send a Civil Aeronautics Administration delegation to the assembly despite not having received an invitation.

Taiwan was seeking to participate in a second consecutive ICAO summit following the 2013 assembly, when it attended as a special guest of then-ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.

The ICAO has 191 members and is responsible for establishing international aviation policies.

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President Tsai Ing-wen meets a European Parliament delegation at the Presidential Office on Friday, Sept. 23. (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office)

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