Taiwan regrets exclusion from Interpol assembly

Taiwan on Saturday expressed its deep regret and discontent with the International Criminal Police Organization's (Interpol) rejection of its bid to attend the organization's upcoming general assembly.

The government will continue to work closely with the United States and other like-minded countries to promote Taiwan's participation in Interpol, in the hope that Taiwan can be included in the global network for public security protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

Taiwan was forced to withdraw from Interpol in 1984 when China joined the organization.

For the first time in 32 years, the government in October applied with Interpol to participate as an observer in its 85th general assembly to be held Nov. 7-11 in Bali, Indonesia.

In response, Interpol President Mireille Ballestrazzi and Secretary-General Jurgen Stock have written separately to Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Liu Po-liang (???) stating the organization's decision to turn down Taiwan's application, MOFA said.

The ministry stressed that Taiwan's bid to participate in the Interpol general assembly does not involve politics but is intended to facilitate cooperation with the police of other countries and contribute to global efforts against organized crime, cyber crime, cross-border crime and terrorism.

With cross-border crime becoming a serious problem amid the trend of globalization, having no access to Interpol information is posing a challenge to Taiwan's crime-fighting operations, the ministry said, urging Interpol to deal with Taiwan's case positively and pragmatically based on the need to maintain global security.

Considering the need for security maintenance during the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, the ministry has also requested Interpol to allow Taiwan to access the I-24/7 global police communications system and the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database.

The ministry, meanwhile, expressed its appreciation to the United States for supporting Taiwan's Interpol participation.

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill in March requiring the U.S. secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol. The bill was then signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel