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Five middle powers hope to serve as 'bridge-builder' on int'l stage

All Headlines 17:15 August 28, 2014

SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Yonhap) -- Envoys from South Korea and four other middle powers met in Seoul on Thursday to discuss how their cooperative body should move forward, adding that they are well positioned to play the role of a "bridge-builder" in the international community.

The so-called MIKTA is an informal cooperative channel created by Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia last September in a bid to enhance coordination on global issues of common interest.

The meeting, attended by ambassadors to Seoul from the MIKTA countries and top envoys from about 15 nations, was held to discuss what role MIKTA could play to promote cooperation.

Lee Kyung-soo, deputy minister for political affairs at Seoul's foreign ministry, said that the MIKTA countries have different historical and cultural backgrounds, along with geographical locations, but that they shared common values such as democracy and open economies that can contribute to the global public good.

"MIKTA will play the role of a bridge-builder, connecting countries that have different interests and contribute to the shaping of a more desirable global order by maximizing the diplomatic assets and mechanisms for the cooperation of the member states," Lee said in a congratulatory address for the meeting.

"However, MIKTA will in no way seek to be an exclusive group. It will, rather, embrace a spirit of openness," he noted.

Lee said that the tasks facing MIKTA include what agendas the body will address as well as how it will make itself "substantial and sustainable" in the long term.

In late July, foreign ministers from the MIKTA countries "strongly condemned" the downing of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, calling for those responsible for the tragedy to be held accountable.

Since the creation of MIKTA, Mexico has been serving as the coordinator of the group. South Korea will assume the role in September.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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