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(LEAD) S. Korea, Sri Lanka to hold cooperation talks this week

All Headlines 09:03 March 10, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES 'economics' to 'business' in lead)

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministers of South Korea and Sri Lanka will hold talks this week on ways to expand bilateral ties in politics, business and other areas of mutual interest, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Mangala Samaraweera, will meet here Friday as the two sides mark 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations next year, the ministry said in a press release.

The ministers will discuss the political situation on the Korean Peninsula and South Asia, and issues related to politics, business, labor and development, it said.

Thalatha Atukorale, Sri Lanka's minister of foreign employment promotion and welfare, will also attend the talks to discuss ways to increase bilateral cooperation in the employment sector.

"We expect the official visit of Foreign Minister Samaraweera to be an opportunity to reflect on the two countries' development of friendly ties ahead of the 40th anniversary next year of South Korea-Sri Lanka ties, and to hold in-depth talks on a future vision for bilateral ties and specific cooperation measures over the next 40 years," the ministry said.

Samaraweera is the first Sri Lankan foreign minister to visit South Korea since the launch of the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena last year.

He will be here for a three-day stay starting Thursday.

In 2014, two-way trade amounted to US$407 million, with South Korea exporting $314 million worth of textiles, steel and chemical machines to Sri Lanka, and importing $93 million worth of minerals and woven garments from the South Asian country, according to official data.

hague@yna.co.kr
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