Taipei, December 21 (CNA) After diplomatic ties broke off on December 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Tuesday that former Nicaraguan Ambassador IvÃ¡n Lee (æå²³ è) has returned to Taiwan. December 23.
The December 23 deadline was set by the Nicaraguan government during negotiations between the two parties.
MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (æ æ± å®) made the comments when asked about the latest updates regarding the breakdown in diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Nicaragua.
According to a diplomatic source, it is customary for countries to take at least a month to recall their respective staff following the breakdown of diplomatic relations.
The shorter two-week notice given to the Taiwanese side left them little time to prepare for the closure of its embassy and the departure of the technical mission there, the source told CNA.
On the basis of reciprocity, the Taiwanese government has given Nicaraguan embassy staff in Taipei the same time to leave the country, according to Ou.
A total of 52 people, including staff members and their families, are leaving Nicaragua.
Meanwhile, Ou revealed on Tuesday that MOFA learned of the possible diplomatic change before Nicaragua announced its decision to sever ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yui (ä¿ å¤§ ãµ¢), in charge of Latin American Affairs at the ministry, summoned Nicaraguan Ambassador Mirna Mariela Rivera Andio on December 3 to express Taiwan’s solemn position on the issue, said Or, without further details.
Following the December 3 meeting at MOFA headquarters in Taipei, MOFA twice summoned Rivera, the latter refusing to attend the ministry, according to Ou.
When asked if Rivera had already left Taiwan, Ou did not respond directly, only reiterating that all Nicaraguan embassy staff should leave the country by the December 23 deadline.
Several Nicaraguans in Taiwan have previously told CNA they were unable to establish contact with Rivera or Nicaraguan embassy staff after the announcement of Nicaragua’s diplomatic transfer to Beijing.
The end of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China, which is Taiwan’s official name, and Nicaragua leaves Taiwan with 14 diplomatic allies around the world.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (è¡è±æ) took office in 2016, Taiwan has lost eight diplomatic allies, namely Burkina Faso, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Nicaragua.