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Lee starts tour of three Central Asian countries

President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday left for Mongolia, the first stop in his three-nation tour of Central Asia aimed mostly at boosting economic cooperation.

Lee is scheduled to hold summit talks with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in Ulan Bator to discuss ways to promote bilateral cooperation for development of natural resources, health programs and personnel exchanges during his state visit.

The two leaders will also adopt a Korea-Mongolia joint statement and a mid-term action plan on bilateral cooperation.

They are also expected to share views on recent political developments in Northeast Asia and how to strengthen diplomatic collaboration.

On Tuesday, Lee will fly to Uzbekistan for summit talks with Uzbek President Islam Abduganievich Karimov during which they will discuss ways to expand substantial cooperation for the development of energy resources, infrastructure, finance and IT.

Uzbekistan seeks Korea’s assistance in improving its financial and information technology services. The two countries will also sign a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation in the fields of health care, medicine and textiles.

Lee will visit Kazakhstan on Wednesday where he will meet with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev to seek a mutually beneficial trade partnership and better cooperation in such areas as energy, resources and environment.

Lee will also attend a business forum as well as the opening ceremony of a center for technological cooperation between the two countries.

Lee is slated to return home Friday morning.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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