Taiwan has lodged a protest with the authorities in Peru, the host country of the 2008 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, over the country's exclusion from an informal meeting of APEC foreign ministers, Taiwanese officials said Thursday [20 November 2008].
The meeting, which took place Wednesday [19 November 2008] on the sidelines of the annual APEC ministerial meeting held in the Peruvian capital of Lima, focused on issues concerning the global financial crisis. Foreign ministers of all APEC members were invited to attend, except for those of Taiwan and Hong Kong.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, the Taiwanese delegates requested before the beginning of the meeting that Taiwan could be represented, but the request was rejected by the organizer on the grounds that Taiwan's APEC delegation does not include the country's minister of foreign affairs.
Taiwan later submitted an official letter of protest to the host country, as it has done in previous years when the same thing has happened, the officials said.
Since the terrorist attack on New York's Twin Towers of Sept. 11, 2001, APEC foreign ministers have used the occasion of the annual APEC meeting to discuss major regional issues. Although the informal meeting does not necessarily take place every year, Taiwan and Hong Kong have always been excluded.
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