(ATTN: RECASTS headline, first 2 paras; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon embarked on a tour of Kuwait, Colombia and Ecuador on Tuesday to discuss ways to expand cooperation with the three nations, his office said.
Using a presidential plane, code-named Air Force One, Lee will visit Kuwait from Tuesday to Friday, which will be followed by a three-day trip to Colombia. He will then travel to Ecuador from next Monday.
The trip is part of the government's efforts to expand diplomacy with the Middle East, and Central and South America.
In Kuwait, Lee will meet with Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the prime minister of the Middle Eastern country, to discuss ways to strengthen cooperative relations.
In Colombia, Lee will have a meeting with President Ivan Duque Marquez to talk about the bilateral ties.
In Ecuador, Lee is scheduled to meet with President Lenin Moreno and have an expanded meeting involving Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner.
He will also support cooperation with the auto industry in Ecuador.
The prime minister will also make a stopover in Portugal on Friday to Saturday and the United States on May 8-9.
In Portugal, he plans to have talks with his counterpart, Antonio Costa, and will participate in a ceremony to mark the completion of a factory by Lotte Chemical Corp. in Louisiana.
He will return home May 10.
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