Lithuanian foreign minister urges WHO to invite Taiwan to international assembly

  • 2020-05-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius on Wednesday called on the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) to invite Taiwan to next week's assembly that will discuss global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I emphasized that we respect and do not question the 'One China' policy, but in practical expert terms, Taiwan's participation as an observer would be helpful, and we would hope that China might perhaps agree to that, because we know that consensus among the parties is needed," Linkevicius told BNS after his telephone conversation with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Next week's annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, will focus on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The WHO leadership says it has no mandate to invite Taiwan without the consent of member states.

Taiwan's participation has been strongly supported by the United States, but blocked by China which has not ruled out regaining control of the island by force, calling any support to Taiwan interference with its internal affairs.