South Korean President Park Geun-hye will meet the United Arab Emirates' crown prince of Abu Dhabi Thursday for talks on expanding bilateral cooperation in energy, defense and other areas of mutual interest, her office said.
Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who arrived in Seoul Wednesday for a three-day visit, is the highest-ranking Middle Eastern official to visit South Korea since the launch of the Park government last February, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
"We expect (the visit) to contribute to the diversification of our government's foreign affairs and boost our diplomacy toward the Middle East," Cheong Wa Dae said.
During their meeting at the presidential office, the two sides are expected to discuss their countries' growing cooperation in the nuclear power, energy, construction, defense and health sectors, and also exchange views on the political situation in their respective regions, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
In particular, the leaders are expected to discuss ways to promote their countries' joint development under the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Abu Dhabi's long-term plan for diversifying its economy and reducing reliance on the oil sector.
"Creative economy" is Park's trademark strategy for boosting the economy through new business opportunities created through the fusion of information and communications technology, culture and other realms. Abu Dhabi's economic vision is a long-term plan for diversifying its economy and reducing reliance on the oil sector.
Park also plans to reaffirm Seoul's commitment to maintaining special ties with the UAE, which have strengthened since South Korea won a project in 2009 to build a nuclear power plant in the Middle Eastern country, Cheong Wa Dae said. The UAE is the only Middle Eastern country in a "strategic partnership" with South Korea.
On Friday, Mohammed is scheduled to meet South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won and jointly sign one treaty and four memorandums of understanding, Cheong Wa Dae said.
The crown prince, who is on his fourth visit to South Korea, will also visit a museum and tour key medical facilities in Seoul before returning home. (Yonhap)