Panama’s Foreign Ministry scrambled on Thursday to clarify statements made by President Martinelli that have angered Chinese and Tawainese government officials and Panama’s Chinese population.
The Foreign Minister, Francisco Alvarez de Soto, met with representatives of Taiwan and China Popular in an attempt to clarify Martinelli’s controversial statements during his official tour in Japan.
De Soto met with Taiwan's ambassador in Panama, Chou Diego and met separately with the representative of the Office of Chinese Business Development, Hongai Huo.
The Chancellor explained that according to reports it handles, the president's statements "were taken" out of context.
According to news agencies, Panama expressed its support for the Japanese government in its claim to sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku to Tokyo).
Japan is embroiled in a dispute with China over the islands and , Taiwan urged Panama to "respect" the long and loyal bilateral relationship and to remain "neutral" in the dispute.
In a press release on Thursday, October 25,the Foreign Ministry said: "The Government of the Republic of Panama regrets that the Chinese authorities have considered that, in the words of the head of state, Panama has sought to interfere in internal affairs of that country, much less, was it intended to prejudice their interests,"
Taiwan asked Wednesday to Panama to "respect" the long and loyal bilateral relationship and remain "neutral" in the dispute with Japan remains China Diaoyu islands (Senkaku to Tokyo).