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Leaders of S. Korea, Turkmenistan agree to boost cooperation

All Headlines 17:30 April 17, 2019

ASHGABAT, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow agreed Wednesday to continue increasing their countries' energy cooperation while also expanding their bilateral ties to new areas, including education.

In their first bilateral summit, Moon and Berdimuhamedow noted the countries have steadily improved their ties in various areas since they established diplomatic ties in 1992, which were upgraded to a mutually beneficial partnership in 2008.

"While noting the countries' bilateral ties have especially improved through their summit diplomacy that includes President Berdimuhamedow's two visits to South Korea, the leaders expressed hope that President Moon's visit to Turkmenistan will be a chance to create a new driving force for cooperation between the two countries," Moon's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said in a press release.

The South Korean president arrived here Tuesday on a three-day state visit, also marking his first trip to Central Asia since he took office in 2017. He is on a three-nation tour that will later take him to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Moon and Berdimuhamedow welcomed the construction of Turkmenistan's first petrochemical plant in Kiyanly, which was built by an international consortium led by a South Korean engineering firm.

They agreed to continue the countries' cooperation in the energy plant sector, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They also agreed to expand the countries' cooperation to new areas, including the health and medical care, ICT and environment sectors, which they said will lead to improvements in people's livelihoods in the Central Asian country.

Moon explained his country's New Northern Policy, which is aimed at greatly boosting his country's economic and diplomatic relations with Central and North Asian countries, as well as Eurasian nations that include Russia.

"The two leaders agreed to harmonize the New Northern Policy that our government is emphasizing and Turkmenistan's strategy to build a logistics center so they will make practical progress that can benefit the people of both countries," Cheong Wa Dae said.

President Moon welcomed Turkmenistan's intention to become a member of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute, and agreed to share his country's experience and technology in creating sustainable forests and dealing with water shortages, it added.

The leaders highlighted the importance of cooperation in the education and cultural sectors in promoting their people's mutual understanding and agreed to further expand the countries' people-to-people exchanges.

Moon also sought Turkmenistan's support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

Berdimuhamedow reaffirmed his support for South Korea's efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish permanent peace.

Moon's visit to Turkmenistan will end Thursday after his brief trip to the petrochemical plant in the western port city of Kiyanly.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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