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June 29, 2017

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Taiwan excluded from Interpol meet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's government on Saturday expressed deep regret over International Criminal Police Organization's (Interpol) decision to reject Taiwan's application to attend its annual meeting next week.

For the first time in 32 years, Taiwan filed an application to attend Interpol's general assembly as an observer.

Taiwan was forced to exit Interpol in 1984 following mainland China's entry into the organization.

Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Commissioner Liu Po-liang (劉柏良) received a written rejection from Interpol President Mireille Ballestrazzi and Secretary General Jurgen Stock.

The letters stated that Interpol "could not respond positively" to Taiwan's application to attend the upcoming 85th general assembly as an observer.

The CIB filed an application in October in an effort to join the meeting, which is slated for Nov. 7-11 in Bali, Indonesia.

'Apolitical issue'

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said Saturday that fighting crimes was an "operation without borders" and Taiwan's application to attend the Interpol summit as an observer was an apolitical issue.

"Therefore we feel deep regret and discontent over the undesirable decision from Interpol," Huang said.

Huang thanked the U.S. government and Congress, as well as international allies, for supporting Taiwan's participation in the Interpol assembly.

"We greatly hope that Interpol can deal with the issue of Taiwan's participation in a positive and pragmatic way, based on the real need for safeguarding global security and in consideration of the contributions Taiwan can make in this regard," Huang said.

Earlier Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) voiced the same discontent over Interpol's decision.

Taiwan will continue to work closely with the U.S. and other like-minded countries to push for Taiwan's presence in Interpol in order to include Taiwan in the global network for public security protection, the ministry stated.

It said Taiwan hoped to join forces with the police of other countries in the global effort to attack organized crime, cybercrimes, cross-border crimes and terrorism, so as to realize Interpol's goal of "connecting police for a safer world."

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