South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will visit Egypt on 20 January as part of his three-country Middle East tour that will begin with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

Park Kyung-mee, South Korea’s Presidential Spokesperson, said that the South Korean president will visit Egypt for two days upon the invitation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Both presidents are expected to discuss ways to further develop the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two nations.

Notably, Moon was expected to visit Egypt in 2021, however the visit was postponed due to the pandemic.

After holding a summit with the Egyptian president, Moon will attend a business forum where he will discuss ways to promote cooperation in eco-friendly businesses.

The South Korean Embassy in Egypt will hold a press salon on Sunday to announce further details on the visit.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and South Korea.

In November 2021, South Korea’s Ambassador to Egypt, Hong Jin Wook, told Daily News Egypt in an interview: “We celebrate this year the 26th anniversary of Korean-Egyptian diplomatic relations. Although this period is perceived to be relatively short compared to our deep friendship, the two countries have realised substantial development in their relationship over the last quarter-century. Following President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s historic visit to South Korea in 2016 and the adoption of the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership, the two countries have been working to push forward the level of coordination and cooperation at all fronts.”

He added this has been demonstrated in the subsequent summit meetings between President Moon and President Al-Sisi on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 and the two rounds of phone conversations held last year in March and October.

The two leaders also share a similar vision concerning many regional and international issues, and have agreed to continue the regular policy coordination and high-level exchange while upgrading the level of partnership.

Recently, the Korean Minister of National Defence and the Speaker of the Korean National Assembly visited Egypt in August and October 2021, respectively, reflecting the improved overall bilateral coordination.

“The Korean government has also selected Egypt as a priority country for Official Development Assistance and a key development partner in the MENA region during the period (2021-2025). This would allow more funding to be availed for different cooperation projects in Egypt, increasing thereby the size of our economic cooperation portfolio,” said the ambassador.

“Thus, I believe that Korean-Egyptian relations represent a good model for a successful partnership that will be further developed, especially with the expected visit of President Moon Jae-in to Egypt sometime in the near future.”

It is worth noting that South Korean Defence Minister Suh Wook has met with Egypt’s Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed Ahmed Morsi during a visit to the country in August and agreed to expand cooperation between the two sides in the defence industry.

Furthermore, Morsi discussed with South Korea’s Minister of Defence Acquisition Programme Administration, Kang Eun-ho, and his accompanying delegation, ways to enhance joint cooperation between the two countries on the side-lines of the Egypt Defence Expo (EDEX 2021) that was held in November, in which the latest developments in joint cooperation were discussed.

The two sides have also studied the possibility of enhancing cooperation with the Korean side in joint manufacturing of the K2 main battle tank as well as the joint manufacturing of the K9 Thunder Howitzer.

Concerning the three-country tour, Presidential Spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said Moon’s visit to the three Middle Eastern nations is expected to bolster bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, construction and infrastructure, as well as public health, science, and hydrogen.

Moon is set to attend a business forum in the UAE on Sunday as well as an official ceremony for ‘Day of Korea’ at the Dubai Expo, the presidential office said.

After the UAE, Moon will visit Saudi Arabia between 18 to 19 January to hold talks with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and to attend a business forum.

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