President Sheikh Mohamed holds talks with South Korean leader Yoon on state visit

The two leaders met at Changdeokgung Palace and emphasised their dedication to strengthening the bonds between their nations

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President Sheikh Mohamed held talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday after arriving in Seoul for the start of a two-day state visit.

The two leaders emphasised their commitment to further bolstering ties between their nations at Changdeokgung Palace.

Mr Yoon, accompanied by first lady Kim Keon Hee, expressed his pleasure at meeting Sheikh Mohamed, who was joined by Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed, Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential Court for National Projects.

Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikha Mariam enjoyed a traditional Korean tea ceremony, featuring a flute performance by a local musician.

Sheikh Mohamed also attended a special banquet hosted in his honour by Mr Yoon and the first lady at the Blue House, a former presidential residence.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed his gratitude for the show of hospitality and praised the Korean people's dedication to preserving their rich heritage and culture.

He stressed the crucial role of culture and the arts in forging connections and building greater understanding.

The banquet was attended by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, adviser for special affairs at the Presidential Court, and other members of the UAE delegation.

The presidential flight was earlier escorted by military aircraft as it entered South Korean airspace on Tuesday morning.

“Today, I arrived in Seoul, where I will join President Yoon Suk Yeol in discussing ways to advance the Special Strategic Partnership between the UAE and Republic of Korea,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on X.

“Through economic partnership and close people-to-people ties, our nations are determined to achieve further progress that benefits all.”

On Wednesday, the second day of his two-day visit, an official reception was held for Sheikh Mohamed at the Office of the President in Seoul.

It featured several displays by Korean aircraft, a 21-gun salute and an honour guard formation as the national anthems of both countries played.

Groups of children performed an Emirati song while others waved the flags of both nations, and Seoul's streets were adorned with UAE flags as the city's landmarks were illuminated in its colours.

Boosting business

Sheikh Mohamed said deals made during his state visit to South Korea will help to herald a new era in economic relations between the UAE and the Asian nation.

The President met business delegations representing major Korean companies and entrepreneurs.

Sheikh Mohamed hailed the growing economic, investment and trade ties between the countries during the talks in Seoul, state news agency Wam reported.

He stressed that the Emirates was keen to attract further investment by cultivating a supportive environment built on robust infrastructure and favourable regulations.

He added the UAE's geographical location made it a commercial gateway to the Middle East.

Business leaders and executives involved in the meeting told of their interest in investing and working in the UAE.

They highlighted the significance of Sheikh Mohamed's visit for future partnerships between the friendly countries.

Sheikh Mohamed led a high-level Emirati delegation which included Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Minister of Investment, and Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

Deep-rooted ties

In January last year, Mr Yoon was welcomed by Sheikh Mohamed in Abu Dhabi at the start of a four-day visit to the Emirates.

Mr Yoon was accompanied by his wife and, together, they attended an official reception ceremony at Qasr Al Watan.

Discussions during his trip centred on nuclear energy, climate change, health, smart agriculture, the space sector and culture.

The UAE and South Korea forged diplomatic ties in 1980, with relations flourishing in the decades since.

South Korea played a leading role in the construction of the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the first in the Arab world.

The countries have also joined forces in the space sector, combining expertise to develop and launch satellites.

Updated: May 29, 2024, 6:04 AM