1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on July 10, and discussed ways to cope with COVID-19 and strengthen cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the UAE in the post COVID-19 era.
2. The two Ministers assessed that despite the strong uncertainty amid COVID-19 the two countries have been surmounting the challenges together with the trust built upon the “special strategic partnership.”
o Minister Abdullah mentioned that the ROK is the first country to visit since the outbreak of COVID-19. Minister Kang echoed that it was the UAE that the ROK sent its first government delegation since the pandemic and that Minister Abdullah is the first Foreign Minister to visit Korea. She noted that the both countries are setting an example of solidarity and cooperation by continuing to cooperate ahead of other countries.
o Minister Abdullah delivered Crown Prince Mohammed’s letter addressed to the President of the ROK to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
3. Referring to Crown Prince Mohammed’s posting of his tour to the Barakah nuclear power plant construction site on his personal social media account, Minister Kang asked for the UAE to pay special attention to the safety and health of workers at the site, as the project plays a crucial role in bilateral relations.
4. In addition, the two Ministers agreed to continue their close cooperation on such areas as public health, food safety, and science and technology for the post COVID-19 world as well as cooperation in tackling the pandemic like vaccine development and quarantine.
o Minister Abdullah highly commended the ROK’s outstanding response to COVID-19, saying that the ROK’s measures are serving as a model for the UAE. In particular, he requested the ROK to share its experiences in the education policy, including online and in-person classes as well as disease prevention and control at schools.
5. Minister Abdullah said he would look forward to the ROK’s unswerving support to the Expo 2020 Dubai, though the exhibition was postponed to next year. Minister Kang said that the ROK is willing to closely consult with the UAE and provide a full support possible to ensure the success of the event next year.
6. The two Ministers exchanged views on the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East, and particularly discussed international relations constantly changing amid COVID-19.
7. During Minister Abdullah’s visit to the ROK, the two countries agreed on detailed procedures regarding the fast track entry program that they had agreed to establish during Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Kim Gunn’s visit to the UAE (June 13-15). The fast track system will be implemented as soon as domestic procedures in both countries are completed.
8. To ensure that Minister Abdullah’s delegation will make a safe visit to Korea for both sides, the UAE has taken its own strong measures for disease prevention and control such as having all the members of the delegation undergo 14-day quarantine before the departure and have PCR tests to submit negative test results in advance, and minimizing the schedule to hold the Foreign Ministers’ meeting only.
o The meeting was held at the Minister’s official residence and the both delegations observed the strict quarantine guideline such as minimization of the participants and enforcing social distancing.
9. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will gradually resume face-to-face diplomatic activities in a safe and effective manner, and continue to carry out necessary diplomatic activities, while strictly observing the measures for disease prevention and control to ensure the public health.