5 Sep 2006

Nauru President denies asking Taiwan for $US4 million loan exemption

7:43 pm on 5 September 2006

Nauru President Ludwig Scotty has denied asking the Taiwan government to exempt Nauru from repaying a loan of US$4 million.

The China Post reports that Mr Scotty made the remarks after signing the "Palau Declaration" following the first summit meeting between Taiwan and its South Pacific allies, including Palau, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati.

During an interview with Taiwan reporters, Mr Scotty said his recent stopover in Taiwan was purely for a change of plane bound for Palau.

He denied a Taiwan legislator's claim that he asked Taiwan to exempt Nauru from repaying a US$4 million loan during his transit stop, saying the claim is incorrect.

This comes amid speculation that China is close to enticing Nauru and Palau to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

However Mr Scotty stressed that Nauru is sincere in wishing to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.