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Taiwanese expected to gain EU visa-free treatment early next year
Central News Agency
Page 2
2009-10-29 12:00 AM
Taiwanese nationals are expected to be granted visa-free privileges by the European Union (EU) at some point between April and June 2010, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Chiu Jong-jen, MOFA's director-general for European affairs, made the remarks after Charles Tannock, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) who chairs a pro-Taiwan group in the parliament, said earlier in the day that Taiwanese people will be able to enter EU nations without a visa in early 2010 at the earliest.

Tannock, who is making his first trip to Taiwan with eight other MEPs on a six-day visit that started Oct. 25, made the remarks in a speech on the Taiwan-EU partnership at the National Taiwan University International Convention Center in Taipei City.

In the speech, the British MEP revealed that he is working to persuade the EU to grant visa-free privileges to Taiwanese visitors.

Taiwan is an important trade partner of many European countries, Tannock said, noting that although the EU maintains diplomatic ties with China, its friendship toward Taiwan remains strong.

He praised President Ma Ying-jeou for adopting his pragmatic "modus vivendi" diplomatic policy that has gradually resulted in the reconciliation of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, even though Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China, has always tried to suppress Taiwan in its bids to join influential international organizations.

Tannock also reiterated his support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in United Nations-affiliated agencies.

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