Taipei mayor to visit Europe, Turkey

Taipei-Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je will embark Saturday on a study tour to Europe and Turkey, and is scheduled to give a speech at the European Parliament on Jan. 31, a city government spokesman said.

Ko is Taiwan's first local government chief to speak at the European Parliament, Liu Yi-ting said.

At the head of a delegation of city officials, Ko will visit the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Turkey to study municipal issues such as urban renewal, public housing, smart cities, green transportation, circular economy, home health care and new start-ups, according to Liu.

The trip will end on Feb. 6.

In Poland, Ko will meet with the country's former President Lech Walesa, who had visited Taiwan to attend the inaugurations of former presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, Liu said

During a Jan. 4 interview, Ko said Turkey was included on the itinerary because the Turkish government has expressed an interest in building a mosque in Taipei, an issue which will be discussed during the visit.

The Netherlands was chosen because its environment and economic development is similar to Taiwan's, Ko said, adding that Belgium is the headquarters of the European Union and Warsaw is a sister city of Taipei.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council