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Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong Kun Holds Meeting with Ambassadors of Arab Countries to Korea

1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong Kun held his first meeting with the Ambassadors of 14 Arab countries to Korea on the afternoon of June 3. Vice Minister Choi and the Ambassadors exchanged views on ways to enhance cooperation on the COVID-19 response and to deepen exchanges and cooperation between Korea and Arab countries in the post-pandemic era as well as overall issues regarding Korea-Arab relations. ※ (participant countries) Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the UAE 2. Vice Minister Choi noted with appreciation that since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1962, Korea and Arab countries have built solid and mutually beneficial relations. He also exchanged ideas with the Ambassadors of Arab countries to Korea on ways forward to further develop Korea-Arab cooperation in the post-pandemic era.   o In particular, Vice Minister Choi presented as key tasks for Korea’s cooperation with the Arab world (1) the restoration of people-to-people exchanges to the pre-pandemic level, (2) the diversification of cooperation areas to encompass renewable energy, healthcare and medical treatment, science, technology and agriculture, and (3) the increase of non-governmental platforms to strengthen economic, cultural, and academic cooperation. With this in mind, he proposed establishing a future-oriented Korea-Arab partnership.   3. The Arab Ambassadors to Korea, including Ambassador Bader Mohammad Alawadi of Kuwait who is serving as Dean of the Arab Group of Ambassadors in Seoul, agreed with appreciation that despite COVID-19, Korea-Arab relations have become even stronger, and expressed their hope to have more opportunities similar to today’s meeting to broaden communication.   o In particular, the Arab Ambassadors showed their interest in Korea’s Green & Digital New Deal policies and suggested deepening Korea-Arab cooperation ties in the fields of healthcare, new technology and human exchanges.   o The Ambassadors also agreed to provide their support to reinvigorate the non-governmental people-to-people exchange platform such as the Korea-Arab Society (KAS)*. *KAS is a non-profit corporation for public-private partnership established in 2008 with the purpose to enhance the Korea-Arab mutual awareness.   4. Vice Minister Choi appreciated that Korea-Arab ties have strengthened even amid the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19 thanks to the mutual efforts to share experiences in the pandemic response and trade in medical supplies, and asked for the Ambassadors’ continued support in further increasing cooperation and discussion between Korea and Arab countries. Source

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