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Top diplomats of S. Korea, UAE discuss cooperation in virus response, bilateral ties

All News 23:11 July 10, 2020

SEOUL, July 10 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held talks in Seoul on Friday to discuss measures to enhance cooperation between the two countries in fighting the new coronavirus and various other fields.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hosted her UAE counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who arrived here Thursday for a three-day visit. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the countries' diplomatic relations.

The meeting is Kang's first in-person talks with a foreign counterpart since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The two ministers agreed that their countries are cooperating well in overcoming the pandemic based on the trust built upon their special strategic relationship.

Kang said that being the first country to each other to hold in-person talks demonstrates the close relations between the two countries and that it has been "an exemplar of solidarity and cooperation between two states," according to her office.

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) presents UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's letter to President Moon Jae-in to his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, during their meeting in Seoul on July 10, 2020, in this photo provided by Seoul's foreign ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Mentioning that UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently posted on social media his visit to the Barakah nuclear plant under construction by South Korean companies, Kang asked Abdullah that the UAE government pay keen attention to South Korean nationals working at the site.

In light of the post-pandemic cooperation, the two sides agreed to work closely together in such fields as health, food security, and science and technology going forward.

The UAE's minister lauded Seoul's coronavirus responses, especially the reopening of schools and online classes, expressing hopes to learn from South Korea's experience.

Abdullah also expressed hopes for Seoul's continued support for his country's successful hosting of the Expo 2020 Dubai, which has been delayed to October next year due to the coronavirus.

In the talks, they also agreed on detailed procedures for a "fast-track" entry system to allow essential travel, mainly business trips, in exception to current entry restrictions being imposed for foreign arrivals, Kang's office said.

The two countries had agreed on the program when Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gunn visited the UAE last month.

In Friday's meeting, the UAE's minister also delivered to Kang a letter from Crown Prince Mohammed to President Moon Jae-in on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the countries' diplomatic relations.

Officials from the foreign ministries of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the top diplomats -- Kang Kyung-wha (2nd from L) and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2nd from R) -- hold talks at Kang's official residence in Seoul on July 10, 2020, in this photo provided by her office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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