BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 22ND 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis has expressed condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of China and in particular, to the family members of a Taiwan fisherman killed by the Pilipino Coast Guard, in the southern part of the ROC Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in a message to the Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said the news caught his attention through International media and the Embassy of the Republic of China to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are saddened by this unfortunate development that has seemingly heightened tensions at the diplomatic level and could result in the untimely escalation of conflict between both countries. We express our firm solidarity with your Government, your beloved country and people at this difficult time,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said as a strong ally and close international partner of the Republic of China, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis stands unequivocally in its support to the decisive measures taken by the Taiwan government in response to the atrocity which demonstrated frivolous disregard for human life.
“Notwithstanding, in the interest of peace and security, St. Kitts and Nevis would like to recommend that both parties exercise restraint. We are of the view that this maritime boundary dispute could be settled through collaboration and without recourse to military force or coercion, which could result in further loss of lives, if not resolved amicably,” said the Prime Minister.
“St. Kitts and Nevis expresses continues support for the Government and people of the Republic of China and looks forward to the timely resolution of this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Government of Taiwan in its latest statement on the matter said negotiations have taken place between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan.
Philippine officials met, as had been promised, with TECO officials and Ministry of Justice Head Prosecutor Yang Wan-li at the Philippine National on the Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the morning of May 20.
The two sides held working-level consultations on procedural issues with respect to mutual legal assistance in the case of the shooting attack on Taiwan fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 (GDX 28) by a Philippine government vessel. During the two-hour meeting, the two sides agreed to provide mutual legal assistance when requested, which laid the groundwork for cooperating on the investigation into the incident.