Taiwan backers seek invitation to major health assembly, WHO says

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Two medical workers in full PPE talk to each other at a newly open drive-through COVID test venue in Taipei, Taiwan, May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Ann Wang

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GENEVA, May 16 (Reuters) - A World Health Organization official said on Monday that the health agency had received a proposal by 13 member states for Taiwan to join a major health assembly next week as an observer.

"Thirteen member states have proposed a new item, a supplementary item, called inviting Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer," said WHO Principal Legal Officer Steve Solomon at a press briefing, saying a decision would likely be made next Monday, on day two of the Assembly.

Taiwan is excluded from most global bodies including the WHO because of objections from China, which considers it one of its provinces and not a separate country. Taiwan's foreign minister said earlier this month he expected it would be "very difficult" to get an invitation to the meeting.

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Reporting by Emma Farge, Editing by Miranda Murray

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