MOFA Statement on the ROC position regarding the US military action against Saddam Hussein’s Regime in Iraq
US-led forces began a military attack on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq on the morning of March 20. This has captured world attention. As war has just broken out, this Ministry is closely monitoring developments. We issue the following statement concerning our government’s position:
1. Taiwan is a peace-loving country that opposes terrorism. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Taiwan has supported international anti-terrorism efforts led by the US. Taiwan regrets that Iraq was not able to abide by the relevant UN resolutions and destroy its weapons of mass destruction, thus leading to war.
2. At a high-level meeting at the National Security Council on the afternoon of March 20, President Chen clearly explained to the people of Taiwan, and to the international community, that Taiwan’s support for the position of the US government is based on the long-term friendship between Taiwan and the US, and is in our national interests. The relationship between Taiwan and the US is closely linked to Taiwan’s national security, prosperity and development. War is the final and unavoidable resort. Our government hopes that this war will not bring harm upon innocent civilians, that casualties will be kept to a minimum, and that the war will end within the shortest possible period of time. As a member of the international community, our government will actively cooperate with the international community in providing medical and humanitarian assistance, and will assist in post-war reconstruction in Iraq.
3. The Ministry has instructed our missions and offices in the Middle East to establish contact channels with governments in the region for the purpose of crisis management; to assist our nationals abroad in responding to circumstances and to ensure their personal safety; and to tighten security checks when issuing visas in order to prevent terrorists from entering Taiwan under the pretext of tourism or business. The Ministry would like to remind ROC citizens to cautiously evaluate the risk of traveling to the region of war, or countries neighboring that region, and to closely monitor the latest travel advice posted on the internet by the MOFA Bureau of Consular Affairs, in order to ensure their personal safety.
4. The Ministry has already commenced coordinating with police agencies to increase the number of police guarding foreign diplomatic missions in Taiwan, as well as the staff of these missions and their families, in order to prevent the possibility of terrorist attacks on these missions. Taiwan will also continue to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait and urges countries in our region to cooperate with each other in preventing terrorist attacks and maintaining the stability and economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.