Top envoy to US attends prayer breakfast

Top envoy to US attends prayer breakfast
Shen Lyu-shun, Taiwan's de facto ambassador in the US.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's top envoy to the US attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Representative Shen Lyu-shun and his wife attended the annual event held on Feb. 5 in Washington on behalf of the R.O.C., Lawrence Liang, deputy director-general of the MOFA Department of North American Affairs, told local media yesterday.

It has been a custom for the event organizer to invite foreign diplomatic envoys stationed in the US to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, Liang said.

Taiwan's top envoy to Washington and his wife are customarily invited to attend the event every year, he noted.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held on the first Thursday of February held in Washington, D.C.

Annually bringing together over 3,200 people from all 50 US states and 140 countries, the event's highlight is an address by the President of the United States.

The annual event originated as a gathering of US politicians who were praying for an Allied victory during World War II.

The tradition was kept after the war ended and was expanded in 1953 by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Meanwhile, Liang yesterday said American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Joseph Donovan is currently visiting Taiwan to exchange views with local officials on subjects of mutual interest to both Washington and Taipei.

Liang said this marks the second consecutive year that the AIT managing director has visited Taiwan since he took up the post in February 2014.

He would not disclose if the visiting AIT official will be discussing issues centering on a New Year's Day R.O.C. flag-raising ceremony in Washington that complicated bilateral ties for weeks.

Liang said both sides will be in talks discussing several topics during Donovan's ongoing visit in Taipei. Among the top priorities are security, economics and trade, culture, technology, environmental issues and counter-terrorism, he stated.

Donovan, who arrived in Taiwan Sunday, is scheduled to conclude his trip this Saturday.

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