The Nicaragua government has given a two-week deadline for the staff of the Taiwan embassy and technical mission there to depart, after the two countries severed diplomatic ties on Dec. 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed Wednesday.
The request for their departure before Dec. 23 was made during negotiations between the two sides, in the wake of the diplomatic split, and the Taiwan government gave the same deadline for the staff of the Nicaraguan embassy in Taipei to leave the country, on the basis of reciprocity, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (???) told CNA.
Taiwan's embassy in Managua is preparing to close, and the staff members and their families -- 52 people in total -- will depart the country in different batches, Ou confirmed, after La Prensa newspaper in Nicaragua reported the deadline story the previous day.
According to a diplomatic source, it is customary for countries to take at least a month to recall their respective personnel following the severance of diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile, according to La Prensa, Nicaragua's parliament on Tuesday repealed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan that was signed in December 2006.
Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) had said earlier that the FTA would remain in effect despite the severance of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.
On Wednesday, the MOEA said Nicaragua had not notified Taiwan of a repeal, but either side can withdraw from the FTA, provided they give six months notice.
On Tuesday, the Nicaraguan parliament also repealed seven other agreements with Taiwan, including a US$20.2 million loan signed in 1998 with the Taiwanese Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to finance an irrigation project in western Nicaragua, according to La Prensa.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel