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Georgian deputy FM pushes for Korean embassy

Georgian deputy FM pushes for Korean embassy

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Published : 2013-12-09 20:14
Updated : 2013-12-09 20:14

   After opening its embassy in Seoul, Georgia is anticipating that South Korea will reciprocate in the near future, the Eurasian country's deputy foreign minister said in Seoul Monday.

   Georgia is on South Korea's shortlist of candidate countries for an embassy, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister David Jalagania said in a press meeting in Seoul. He was in Seoul for the third South Korea-Georgia consultation on ways to step up diplomatic and economic relations.

   The two countries celebrated the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations last year.

   "In 2011, we opened our embassy here and we are waiting for reciprocal steps from the Korea side," Jalagania said, adding that Seoul's embassy in Baku, the capital of nearby Azerbaijan, is not enough to meet the growing importance of the Caucasus region.

   "We would like to offer to the South Korean partner our geopolitical location and benefits and we would like to promote Georgia as a hub for connecting transfers of technology, goods, knowledge, tourism and services between Asian (countries) and between east and west and north and south," he said.

   These benefits make Georgia very "optimistic" about South Korea deciding to open an embassy in the country, Jalagania said, adding that an embassy would give Seoul access to the gateway to the old Silk Road linking Asia to Europe.

   "We hope to succeed in convincing the South Korean leadership to take a decision in favor of Georgia and to open an embassy," he said.

   Also touching on bilateral economic relations, Jalagania said the two countries have "up to US$150 million trade revenue yearly, which is very small," calling for increased bilateral trade.    Georgia is very strong in producing agricultural goods like wine, nuts and honey, as well as natural resources including cooper, gold and ferrous metal, he said, adding that he wants more trade of Georgian goods with South Korea. (Yonhap News)

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