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S. Korea, Uzbekistan to continue cooperation even after Karimov's death: foreign ministry

All Headlines 10:40 September 05, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Uzbekistan will continue their cooperative relations despite the recent death of President Islam Abduganievich Karimov, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday, citing the Uzbek prime minister.

A South Korean delegation led by Education Minister Lee Joon-sik attended the funeral for Karimov on Saturday in Samarkand, Uzbekistan's second-largest city, and expressed condolences to the people of the central Asian country.

In a meeting held during Lee's visit, Uzbekistan's Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoev told Lee that he hopes to continue and develop a strategic partnership forged between their countries during Karimov's term, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Mirziyoev also vowed Uzbekistan's efforts to "future-oriented cooperation" with South Korea in a range of fields even after the president's death, according to the ministry.

The prime minister expressed "deep" gratitude over the South Korean delegation's funeral visit.

Karimov died on Friday (local time) at the age of 78. He was the country's top leader for more than 25 years.

Education Minister Lee Joon-sik (L), who doubles as a deputy prime minister for social affairs, holds talks with Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoev on Sept. 3, 2016. (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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