Taiwanese envoy attends U.S.-led anti-IS coalition meeting

Washington--Taiwan's top envoy to the United States Stanley Kao attended a meeting of the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a militant group also known as Islamic State (IS), held Wednesday in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presided over the meeting, the first since President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Kao attended, along with officials representing 67 other members of the coalition.

The meeting came on the same day as an attacker, believed to be a terrorist, drove a car along a pavement close to the Houses of Parliament in London, leaving five people dead, including himself and a police officer who he stabbed to death. At least 40 others were injured.

In a written statement, Tillerson condemned "these horrific acts of violence," saying that "whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference." He also expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

Trump also offered his condolences on Wednesday's "terror attack" in London in a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May. He praised the effective response of security forces and first responders and pledged the U.S.'s full support and cooperation in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.

The global coalition, which was established in 2014 under the administration of former President Barack Obama, has 68 members. In addition to Taiwan, other coalition partners from the Asia-Pacific region include Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.

Taiwan's participation in the coalition has been in the area of humanitarian assistance. Such efforts include the donation of 350 temporary housing units for refugees in Iraq displaced by the onslaught of IS in 2014, after donating US$100,000 to help provide shelter for refugees in that area.

Asked how Taiwan plans to continue its humanitarian efforts in this regard, Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. declined to comment.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council