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Gambian cadets can stay until end of year: MND

Nov 22, 2013, 10:12 AM

Gambian cadets studying at local military academies have not been ordered to leave Taiwan immediately after the two countries cut diplomatic ties recently, but will instead be allowed to stay until the end of the current semester, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said Thursday.

“They are expected to depart for home before the end of the year,” Ko Wen-an, a senior official at the MND’s Office of Deputy Chief of General Staff for Intelligence, said of the 26 Gambian cadets.

Fielding questions at a hearing of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Ko added that three Taiwanese intelligence instructors stationed in The Gambia to help train the West African state’s personnel are scheduled to return in early December.

The military mission is collaborating with the Republic of China’s embassy in handling personnel withdrawal, Chen said, adding that some military equipment and supplies will be shipped back to Taiwan.

Taiwan formally terminated diplomatic relations with The Gambia Monday, three days after the West African state unilaterally announced a break-off of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan’s embassy in Banjul will be shut down, its technical mission withdrawn, and all bilateral cooperative programs terminated.(CAN, Taipei)