Taipei, May 1 (CNA) Dominican Republic ambassador to Taiwan Angel Soto Jimenez on Tuesday offered a personal apology to the government after his country announced that it was switching diplomatic allegiance to China, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
When summoned by Taiwan’s Vice Foreign Minister José María Liu (劉德立) over the matter, Soto said he had no advance knowledge of his government’s decision, MOFA said in a statement.
As a friend of Taiwan, Soto said, he wished to offer an apology in a personal capacity, according to the statement.
He also told Liu that he would convey to his government Taiwan’s strong protest over the issue, MOFA said.
During the meeting, Soto and Liu agreed that both sides would hold discussions as soon as possible on when the embassies in their respective countries should be formally closed and the staff recalled, the ministry said.
According to MOFA, Soto was informed at 8 a.m. Tuesday that his country was switching diplomatic allegiance to China.
Soto, a former minister of defense in the Dominican Republic, took up the post of ambassador to Taiwan in July 2017.
Earlier Tuesday, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced that Taiwan was severing ties with the Caribbean country as it had switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing on Monday.
Wu said the Dominican Republic made the switch because of financial incentives offered by China.
(By Joseph Yeh)