At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan conducted an official visit to the Republic of Korea on 26th and 27th February 2019.
President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held in-depth discussions on regional and international issues of common interest and priority, and reaffirmed the vital importance of continuing to ensure close cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the UAE across all facets of the bilateral relationship.
I. Strengthening the Special Strategic Partnership
1. The two Leaders expressed their satisfaction that since the establishment of the Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries in March 2018, ties have been enhanced in a range of fields, including the economy, defence, science, culture, and education.
2. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Special Strategic Dialogue, and expressed satisfaction that a range of initiatives, including the Strategic Dialogue between Foreign Ministers, the Foreign and Defence Vice-Ministerial (2+2) Meeting, and the High-level Consultation on Nuclear Cooperation continue to play a pivotal role in further enhancing trust and friendship between the two nations.
3. Recognising the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Project as a valuable foundation for the further deepening of bilateral cooperation, the Leaders agreed that the two countries would continue to work closely in finalising the project. The two Leaders recognised the importance of expanding the strategic nuclear partnership and seeking opportunities for potential cooperation in third countries.
4. Reaffirming the importance of peace, security and stability, the Leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation in the fields of defence. The two Leaders acknowledged the considerable strides that have been made through regular meetings of each country’s respective Defence Ministers. The Leaders noted that defence cooperation is a pivotal element of the bilateral relationship, which continues to be enhanced following the establishment of the Special Strategic Partnership.
5. The two Leaders confirmed that the aviation sector plays an important role as a key industry to both countries, while acknowledging the positive role the aviation sector plays in developing bilateral cooperation ties between the two countries.
II. Pursuing Future-Oriented Mutual Growth and Enhancing Current Economic Cooperation
6. Recognising their roles as hub states in their respective regions, both Leaders noted the excellent trade and economic ties between the two countries, which amounted to about US$8,541 million of non-oil trade exchange in 2018. The two sides agreed to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying non-oil trade, and by seeking new opportunities in a range of cutting edge fields. In particular, the two Leaders affirmed the importance of cooperation in higher value-added industries in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and agreed to diversify their cooperation on new and renewable energy; hydrogen power based city; smart city infrastructure; semiconductors; 5G telecommunications; agriculture; healthcare; science and technology; information communications technology; space; patents; public safety; and artificial intelligence.
7. The two Leaders expressed pleasure that the foundations for further cooperation in these fields has already been established through the signing of a number of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on the occasion of this visit, including the Convention for the Elimination of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance; an MoU on Special Strategic Dialogue; an MoU on Tourism Cooperation; an MoU regarding the Cooperation in the Field of Smart Farming; an MoU for Cooperation on Cleaner Production and Eco-Industrial Development; an MoU on Industry and Investment Cooperation; an MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Hydrogen City; an MoU on Enhancing Waste Recycling Practices and Applications; and a Public Announcement Agreement on the Mandous Project Engineering Procurement Construction.
8. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Korea’s decision to participate in Dubai Expo 2020. President Moon highlighted the interest of Korean companies to be a partner in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the UAE in preparation for the Dubai Expo, as well as in the broader UAE’s development plans.
9. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the current cooperation in the energy sector. Noting the UAE as one of the top suppliers of crude oil to Korea, President Moon thanked the UAE for being a crucial and stable partner in this field. For his part, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed highlighted the extensive role of Korean companies in the continued development of the UAE’s oil sector, and welcomed further cooperation from Korea in this field.
III. Enhancing People-to-People Exchanges through People-Centred Cooperation
10. The Leaders highlighted that there is a need to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation beyond economic cooperation focused on capital and material exchanges to enhance people-to-people exchanges and inter-cultural understanding. In this regard, the Leaders expect that the MoU on Tourism Cooperation will serve to strengthen the institutional framework for people-centred cooperation.
11. Recognising education as one of the key areas in the Special Strategic Partnership, which fosters cooperation between future generations, the Leaders agreed to work together closely and ensure opportunities for their citizens to increase engagement in this field.
IV. Establishing Partnership Playing a Leading Role in Regional Peace and Stability
12. As two countries that play a leading role in promoting regional peace and stability, the Leaders expressed their determination to strengthen cooperation on global issues as partners sharing the values of peace, tolerance, and co-existence.
13. The two Leaders commended the progress made in shifting the Korean Peninsula from a path of constant confrontation and tension to that of dialogue and peace through the holding of three inter-Korean Summits and the first US-North Korea Summit last year as well as the second US-North Korea Summit. The Crown Prince expressed hope that dialogue will continue to take place in the service of peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Crown Prince reiterated the UAE’s full support for the process of achieving complete denuclearization and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
14. The two Leaders acknowledged the common threat posed by terrorism to peace and security in the world. They reaffirmed their strong condemnation of extremism and terrorism in all forms and manifestations. They also condemned all efforts to use religion to justify, sustain, and sponsor terrorism against other countries. In this context, both Leaders noted the significant progress made as Members of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, while President Moon welcomed the contributions of initiatives such as the UAE-based Sawab and Hedayah centres to countering extremist ideologies and enhancing ongoing international counter extremism cooperation.
15. In respect to Yemen, both Leaders underlined their support of the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Martin Griffith. On the humanitarian side, President Moon praised the recent launch of the Imdad Initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE; which will provide US$500 million of additional support towards humanitarian needs in the food and nutrition sectors in Yemen and will be carried out through the United Nations, and other international, regional, and local organisations. Both Leaders highlighted the importance of increased international assistance and improved humanitarian access throughout Yemen.
16. President Moon expressed appreciation of the positive and active role played by the United Arab Emirates in supporting political solutions in the Middle East, combating terrorism and extremism and enhancing the Arab role in solving the regional problems.
17. President Moon noted that the recent visit of Pope Francis to the UAE had demonstrated the possibilities for nurturing compassion, understanding and tolerance in pursuit of peace in the Middle East. President Moon also declared that the Korean Government, as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, will play a significant role in seeking to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East in line with the international efforts to expand humanitarian assistance, counter terrorism, and prevent violent extremism.
18. The Leaders agreed to explore active roles of each country’s respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs to further strengthen cooperation in building regional peace and stability through the holding of a Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum as a venue for promoting cooperation on global and regional issues 19. Expressing gratitude for the warm hospitality rendered by President Moon on the occasion of the visit to Korea, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed invited President Moon to again visit the UAE at a mutually convenient time. The Leaders agreed to meet frequently on various occasions and discuss ways to further develop the Special Strategic Partnership.
27th February 2019 the Presidential Office (Blue House), the Republic of Korea
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs