President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. during the  conference on January 23. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)

Palau severing ties with Kosovo has no indication that the country is going to do the same with its current relationship with Taiwan, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. clarified during the weekly press conference on January 23 when asked by the media about the seemingly contradictory stand that the country is taking.

Remengesau said that Palau is consistent with its position with Taiwan and China.

“I’ve said many times that that’s their (Taiwan and China) internal challenge or internal situation to resolve this among themselves but we will continue to recognize Taiwan even though they are not a member of the United Nations,” Remengesau reiterated.

Kosovo and Serbia’s dispute over sovereignty is reflective of the plights of Taiwan, Palau’s ally, and China. Kosovo and Taiwan both assert independence from Serbia and China, respectively, while the latter consider them as breakaway provinces. Kosovo and Taiwan are also both not recognized by the United Nations (UN).

According to Remengesau, Palau had not seen any reason that would justify its relationship with Kosovo after it entered into a diplomatic relationship with the latter in 2009 under the stint of former President Johnson Toribiong. He added that recognizing Serbia is in the best interest of the country.

“Friendship is based on values and principles. That is the direction that Palau is taking whether it’s the basic values and principles with Taiwan, whether it’s the basic principles and values with Serbia. That is the guiding principle,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau even cited that even United States President Donald Trump has communicated to Kosovo and Serbia to resolve their differences and reach a compromise.

“You do not just enter into a relationship without sharing or knowing what are the common ideals, what are the common values, what are the basic principles that you both agree on because those are important to true friendship,” Remengesau explained. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)