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(LEAD) S. Korea, UAE agree to strengthen ties

All News 15:07 January 09, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead paras; UPDATES with outcome of meeting between Im and the special envoy of UAE)

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United Arab Emirates agreed Tuesday to further enhance their bilateral relationship to upgrade their diplomatic ties into a comprehensive strategic relationship, a Seoul official said.

The agreement came in a meeting between Im Jong-seok, Seoul's presidential chief of staff, and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi.

"The United Arab Emirates is the only country in the Middle East, with which we have a strategic partnership, and we have agreed to develop the relationship into a more comprehensive strategic partnership," Im said at a joint press conference that followed his lunch meeting with Al Mubarak at a Seoul hotel.

The UAE official arrived here Monday as a special envoy of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

"The United Arab Emirates and Korea have a very special, long-term historic relationship," he told the joint press conference.

"It is a relationship we care very much about and it's a relationship we are working together always to strengthen and to build more ties in more sectors. We have a very unique relationship that goes into many areas and many sectors, that covers all aspects of the government, private and public sectors," he added.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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