Taiwan foundation accepts invitation from mainland counterpart for talks

2008-05-29 06:10:15 GMT       2008-05-29 14:10:15 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) has accepted an invitation for talks with the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), Taiwan media reported on Thursday.

SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kun said he "expected that chairmen of the two sides could sign agreement on related issues on June 13".

The ARATS sent an invitation letter earlier on Thursday to SEF chairman Chiang Pin-kun and vice-chairman and secretary-general Kao Koong-lian to lead a delegation to Beijing from June 11 to 14 for talks on cross-Strait weekend chartered flights and mainland tourist travel to Taiwan.

"We hope the talks will make progress on the two issues to meet the expectations of people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait," the letter said.

Chiang said he would write a letter at once to the ARATS to express his willingness to attend the talks, local media reported.

He welcomed the invitation and said, "This is a new starting point for two sides' interactions sine 1999."

Jiang had instructed vice chairman Kao Koong-lian to organize the team for talks.

The two topics have been discussed by related trade organizations many times and some consensus had been reached, he said.

"I hope the two sides can complete negotiations sincerely and quickly so as to enable cross-Strait weekend chartered flights to start and mainland tourists to visit Taiwan soon," he said.

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