PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been rebuked for his decision to prevent his Minister of Foreign Affairs from meeting Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister upon arrival in the country on Monday as well as his departure on Tuesday.
Opposition leader Matthew Wale said he received reports that Sogavare ordered his Foreign Affairs minister not to meet Dr Sze-chien Hsu and his delegation upon their arrival.
“Our diplomatic ties with Taiwan were still in place then and the visit reciprocated the recent visit by our Foreign Affairs Minister to Taiwan,” Wale said.
“And so, there is no justification for the Prime Minister to deny the delegation the VIP treatment normally accorded to visiting foreign delegations,” he added.
“Whether the Prime Minister likes it or not, the people of this country have in one way or another, benefited from Taiwan’s direct assistance over the years and as head of the executive government, he owes a duty to the people to treat Taiwan government officials with dignity and respect.
“The Prime Minsters action is simply childish and immature,” says the Opposition leader.
Manele visited Taiwan for a week, returning last Saturday.
Hse reciprocated the visit, arriving here on Monday in a last-ditch effort to save the two countries’ diplomatic ties.
But hours after his arrival, Cabinet made the decision to cut off ties with Taipei.
Hse and Ambassador Oliver Liao left the country on Tuesday.