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|Participants of the 17th Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum pose at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Nov. 8. They include the Korea-Arab Society Secretary-General Ma Young-sam, fifth from left; Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-kun, sixth from left, and Bader Mohammad Al-Awadi, seventh from left, the ambassador of Kuwait to Korea and the dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps. Courtesy of the Korea-Arab Society|
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Participants of the 17th Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum discussed future directions of strategic partnership between Korea and the Middle East in the post-COVID-19 era at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Nov. 8.
Co-organized by the Korea-Arab Society (KAS), the Jeju Peace Institute, and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the forum aims to promote mutual understanding between Korea and the Middle East as well as build a human resources network.
"This forum is held at a time of great change in the political and economic situation in the Middle East. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the middle of the threatening climate change crisis, the Middle East and Korea have reached a point where they need to find a new direction outside their existing development models," Ma Young-sam, the secretary-general of the KAS, said in the opening remarks.
Bader Mohammad Al-Awadi, the ambassador of Kuwait to Korea and the dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in Seoul, gave congratulatory remarks, stressing the need to develop a "roadmap that includes a clear vision for the areas of cooperation for the next five years."
"In Kuwait, we are developing an action plan for our vision in regard to future areas of cooperation with Korea in line with the implementation of Kuwait's 'Vision 2035' as well as the cooperation in the fields of energy, cyber security and smart technology," the ambassador said.
Envoys from a number of Middle Eastern countries attended the forum, including: Chafik Rachadi, the ambassador of Morocco; Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, the ambassador of the UAE; Hazem Fahmy, the ambassador of Egypt; Antoine Azzam, the ambassador of Lebanon; Sami Alsadhan, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia; Khalid Ebrahim Al-Hamar, the ambassador designate of Qatar; Asal Al-Tal, the charge d'affaires ad interim of Jordan; and Thaer Abdulrahman Thabet, the charge d'affaires a.i. of Iraq.
Korea's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-kun delivered a keynote speech on the future-oriented development of relations between Korea and the Middle East.
Choi suggested expanding the horizon of cooperation to new fields such as green energy, smart agriculture and health and medical care, and asked for continued support for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
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