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U.S. welcomes WHO invitation for Taiwan to attend World Health Assembly
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14:44, April 30, 2009

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The United States on Wednesday welcomed the invitation extended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for health authorities in Taiwan to attend the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer.

"The United States welcomes the announcement that the World Health Organization has invited Taiwan to attend this year's World Health Assembly, the supreme governing body of the World Health Organization, as an observer, under the name Chinese Taipei," said State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood.

"We have long supported Taiwan's meaningful participation in the WHO, including observer status at the WHA," said the spokesman, adding that the U.S. look forward to the benefits Taiwan's public health expertise will bring to the international community.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan earlier sent a letter to the Taiwan health authorities, inviting them to attend the assembly, due to be held in Geneva from May 18 to 27, as an observer.

"Such an arrangement shows our goodwill to achieve practical benefits for Taiwan people and indicates our sincerity to promote peaceful development of cross-Straits relations," said Mao Qun'an, spokesman of China's Health Ministry.

The spokesman said that the mainland and Taiwan had recently held talks and negotiations regarding Taiwan's participation in the WHA, adding that the mainland had been always concerned about the well-being of the Taiwan people and their desire to take part in WHO activities.

Mao said that the mainland supported Taiwan medical experts' participation in international health technology exchanges and acquisition of information from the WHO.

He said the proper settlement of Taiwan's participation in the WHA would promote cross-Straits health exchanges and cooperation and increase mutual understanding for the peaceful development of the relationship between the two sides.

Source: Xinhua



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