The European Union (EU) on Friday expressed its welcome to and full support for the invitation extended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Chinese Taipei health authorities to attend the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer.
"The EU believes that this, combined with Taiwan's participation in the International Health Regulations, will enable Taiwan to meaningfully participate in, and contribute to, the proper functioning of the WHO's worldwide health system," said a statement issued by the EU's Czech presidency.
"This decision will also allow Taiwan to contribute to the global effort against potential pandemic diseases such as A/H1N1 influenza," it added.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan earlier sent a letter to the Chinese Taipei health authorities, inviting them to attend the assembly, due to be held in Geneva from May 18 to May 27, as an observer.
The EU also said that it recognizes and welcomes the concrete steps and confidence-building measures that have been undertaken over the last year by the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, including the agreements signed last month.
The EU appreciates the efforts of both sides to find pragmatic solutions and peacefully develop relations, which contributes significantly to stability and security in East Asia, said the statement, adding that "the EU strongly supports this process of cross-Straits rapprochement."
The Chinese mainland and Taiwan signed in Nanjing on April 26 three agreements on opening regular flights, boosting cooperation in finance and cracking down on crime.