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(LEAD) S. Korean, Omani defense chiefs agree to strengthen cooperation

Defense 09:24 September 02, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS minister's visit to Cheonghae unit in last 2 paras, photo)

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook has met with Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq bin Taimur Al-Said, and agreed to boost cooperation in defense and arms industries, his office said Thursday.

During the talks held in Muscat on Wednesday, the Omani minister voiced hope for expanding cooperation into advanced weapons systems from the fields of conventional weapons and vowed to push for sending a delegation to South Korea, according to the ministry.

The two sides then agreed to work closely to enhance their exchanges and cooperation in defense and more diverse related sectors, it added.

South Korea's Defense Minister Suh Wook (L) speaks with Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq bin Taimur Al-Said, in Muscat on Sept. 1, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Suh expressed gratitude for Oman's support for South Korea's Cheonghae Unit on an anti-piracy mission in waters off Africa, and Shihab vowed continued backing.

The two ministers also exchanged opinions on regional security circumstances. The Omani minister said his country supports the Seoul government's peace efforts involving North Korea, while asking for Seoul to play a bigger role in peace and stability in the Middle East, according to the ministry.

Oman was the last leg of Suh's two-nation trip that also took him to Egypt earlier this week.

Later in the day, Suh visited the Cheonghae unit, which made a call at a Muscat port, to check its implementation of antivirus guidelines and meet with the sailors, according to the ministry.

The unit dispatched to the coast of Africa reported a massive COVID-19 outbreak in July. After all of the sailors were immediately airlifted home, a new group has been conducting their anti-piracy missions.

Defense Minister Suh Wook (L) meets with service members of the anti-piracy Cheonghae unit on missions in waters off Africa on Sept. 1, 2021, in this photo provided by his office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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