The Korea Herald


Lee bound for UAE Saturday

By 김소현

Published : March 11, 2011 - 20:34

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President Lee Myung-bak departs for the United Arab Emirates Saturday to hold summit talks, attend a nuclear power plant event and visit the South Korean troops deployed in the Middle Eastern country.

Upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi Saturday, Lee will head to the eastern town of Al Ain to meet some 130 Korean troops on a two-year mission to help train UAE‘s special forces. The contingent named “Akh,” which means “brother” in Arabic, was dispatched there in January in a show of growing political ties between the two nations.

On Sunday, Lee will hold summit talks with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss ways to strengthen ties in a variety sectors, including the economy, energy, construction, environment and health care, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

On Monday, Lee plans to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for initial works at the proposed Braka nuclear power plant site, about 300 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi.

A South Korean consortium signed a contract, worth as much as $40 billion, in 2009 to build four nuclear reactors in the UAE.

Lee is scheduled to travel to Dubai later Monday to meet a group of South Korean residents and receive the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in recognition of his support for global green growth.

Lee will return to Seoul next Tuesday.

The trip will be Lee‘s second visit to the UAE after taking office in 2008. He made the previous trip in December 2009 when South Korea won the deal for nuclear power plant construction.

By Kim So-hyun (