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Lee to visit UAE for nuclear plant event

By 김소현

Published : March 2, 2011 - 18:27

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President Lee Myung-bak will pay an official visit to the United Arab Emirates next Saturday at the invitation of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Lee’s office said Wednesday.

During his three-day visit, Lee is scheduled to visit the South Korean troops deployed in the UAE, hold summit talks with Sheikh Khalifa and attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the atomic power plant a South Korean consortium is building in Braka, about 300 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi.

South Korea in January sent the 130-strong contingent named “Akh,” meaning “brothers” in Arabic, on a two-year mission to help train the UAE’s special forces.

Lee will also receive an International Zayed Prize for the Environment for global leadership and prize money of $500,000 in Dubai on March 14, Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

Lee was chosen as the winner of the biennial award for his contributions as the leader of global green growth aimed at protecting the environment while achieving economic prosperity, according to the Zayed secretariat.

During his summit talks with Sheikh Khalifa on March 13, Lee will check on the development of the two countries’ strategic partnership and discuss ways to extend cooperation in areas of energy, construction, environment and health, Cheong Wa Dae said.

Korea and the UAE are scheduled to sign three memoranda of understanding on cooperation for development of future growth engines, health and medicine during Lee’s visit. Seoul’s Global Green Growth Institute and the UAE’s foreign ministry will also ink a preliminary partnership deal.

“President Lee’s visit to the UAE, his second following the first one in December 2009, is expected to further strengthen the two countries’ substantial collaboration for South Korean companies’ entry into the UAE, energy development, nuclear power plant construction, the environment and health,” Lee’s office said.

Lee also plans to hold talks with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and UAE Prime Minister and emir of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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