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(LEAD) S. Korea agrees with 4 nations to form middle-power group

All Headlines 16:01 September 26, 2013

(ATTN: ADDS signing of MOU with Arab states in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has agreed with four other middle-power nations to establish a joint consultation group as part of its drive to muster collaboration with peer countries, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

The agreement, signed in New York by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se with his counterparts from Mexico, Australia, Indonesia and Turkey, calls for installing the cooperative organization MIKTA, which was named after the initials of the participant nations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Under the agreement, the ministers of the five countries will hold regular meetings and discuss mutual interests, according to the ministry. In a future meeting, they will discuss adopting a joint statement when necessary.

Mexico will be in charge of administrative affairs for the running of the middle-power gathering for the next one year, it said.

"This meeting of middle powers' foreign ministers is a gathering of nations that share the core value of democracy and market economy, and have wills and capacities of contributing to the international community," according to the ministry.

South Korea has been driven to muster collaboration with nations with similar economic and political influence in order to better voice their mutual interest in the international community, which is mainly dominated by powerful nations.

Yun has also held the inaugural meeting for the country's forum with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in New York and signed an agreement with another Arab organization as part of efforts to expand ties with the region, the ministry noted.

In the meeting with foreign ministers of GCC member countries on Wednesday (U.S. time), Yun discussed ways to diversify their economic collaboration and regional situation, according to the ministry. Yun is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

GCC is a regional group comprising six Arabic countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The memorandum of understanding with the Arab League, a group of 22 Arabic nations established in 1945, calls for setting up multilayered channels of communication between South Korea and the group, the ministry added.


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