Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The Czech Republic will continue to support Taiwan’s efforts to participate in major international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), visiting Czech Senator Jiří Drahoš said Monday.
Drahoš, who is currently leading a delegation on a six-day visit to Taiwan, made the pledge during a meeting with Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), according to a statement released by the Legislature.
The Czech senator was quoted as saying that although he only just arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, he felt home, because the two sides share many common values including freedom, democracy and human rights.
During the meeting with You, Drahoš said he hoped to see the establishment of direct flight services between the two sides to facilitate air travel by the people.
Drahoš also said he will continue to back Taiwan’s bid to gain access to major international organizations, including the WHO and ICAO.
You, meanwhile, said he was very pleased to see Drahoš again, and he thanked the Czech Senate for welcoming his visiting parliamentary group to Prague in July.
The legislative speaker said he was looking forward to closer cooperation between Taiwan and the Czech Republic in future, most notably in the fields of academic exchanges, culture and science.
He said the Czech Republic emerged as leading democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, after its Velvet Revolution in 1989.
By toppling a communist regime through peaceful means, the nation paved the way for democratization in many Central and Eastern European countries, You said.
Drahoš, 73, has served as head of the Czech Academy of Sciences and is now chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions. In 2018, he ran in the Czech presidential election as an independent candidate and was narrowly defeated by the incumbent Miloš Zeman.
According to a press release by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sept. 17, Drahoš will also meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and attend a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), before his departure Friday.
In a recent interview with CNA, Drahoš said he was looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Taiwan in areas such as epidemic prevention, semiconductors, and museums.
He first visited Taiwan in the 1990s to attend an academic conference at National Taiwan University, and since then he has regularly invited Taiwanese scholars to conferences in Prague in an effort to promote academic exchanges between the two countries.
His current visit to Taiwan was planned for October 2020 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(By Wang Yang-yu and Ko Lin)


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