1. On the occasion of the 12th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum held at the ministerial level in Nur-Sultan, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on October 16, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha had bilateral meetings with her counterparts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. During those bilateral meetings, the two sides exchanged a wide range of views on matters of mutual interest, including the bilateral relations, the implementation of the follow-ups on the visits to Central Asian countries by the President and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, and the cooperation on the international stage.
2. In her meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Minister Kang extended appreciation to the Kazakhstan government for its efforts toward the success of the Forum and noted that President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to Kazakhstan in April 2019 had served as an opportunity for the bilateral relations to take a leap to a new level.
° In particular, the two Ministers expressed satisfaction with the fact that active high-level exchanges, the implementation of the “Fresh Wind,” a new economic cooperation program, and the ROK-Kazakhstan working group meetings have facilitated progress in the discussions on ways to promote substantive bilateral cooperation. They agreed to further expand and deepen bilateral cooperation by faithfully implementing what had been agreed upon by the Presidents.
3. In the subsequent meeting between Minister Kang and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, the two Ministers noted with appreciation that the upgrade of the bilateral relations to “special strategic partnership” during President Moon Jae-in’s state visit in April 2019 demonstrates that the two countries are close partners working together on not only bilateral but also regional and global issues on the basis of mutual trust.
° Minister Kang took note of the smooth progress in the implementation of the follow-ups on the summit talks in various areas, including science and technology, aerospace and aviation, and development cooperation, and suggested working together in the area of environment, including the issues regarding the resolution of Uzbekistan’s Aral Sea issue and the Global Green Growth Institute.
° The two sides agreed to deepen cooperation based on mutual trust and common interests in the full range of areas, including political affairs, economy, science and technology, humanities, culture, environment and regional and global issues, by holding high-level exchanges on a regular basis.
4. In the meeting between Minister Kang and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Chingiz Aidarbekov, the two Ministers noted that Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic in July 2019 had served as an opportunity for the bilateral relations to take a leap to a higher level.
° The two sides welcomed that in the meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation held in Seoul on October 4, the two countries had discussed specific ways to follow up on the Prime Minister’s visit mainly in such areas as development cooperation, the e-government system, education, health and medical care, and tourism.
° Minister Aidarbekov explained that for national economic and social development, the government of the Kyrgyz Republic is implementing policies for system improvements in such areas as the judicial and financial systems, education, medical and health care, and investment attraction. He also voiced hope for Korean enterprises’ larger presence in the Kyrgyz Republic.
° Minister Kang expressed hope that the ROK and the Kyrgyz Republic would maximize their potential for mutually complementary cooperation and thereby expand their mutually beneficial cooperation to various sectors.
5. In the meeting between Minister Kang and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirodjiddin Muhriddin, the two Ministers noted that recently active high-level exchanges, including the ROK Prime Minister’s official visit to Tajikistan in July 2019, have facilitated great advances in the bilateral relations. They agreed to continue exploring ways for mutually beneficial economic cooperation at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation, which has been held on annual basis since 2017.
° Minister Kang, mentioning that the establishment of a subcommittee on textile within the Joint Committee helped reinforce the framework of cooperation, voiced hope that the two countries would further step up cooperation on health and medical care, development cooperation and education, expedite the conclusion of treaties and memoranda of understanding in the sectors of agriculture, finance and judicial affairs, and thereby bolster the institutional foundation for cooperation.
° Minister Muhriddin noted with appreciation that the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum has helped strengthen not only cooperation between the ROK and five Central Asian countries but also the relations between the ROK and Tajikistan. He expressed hope for close cooperation with the ROK on the development of Tajikistan’s abundant water and tourism resources.
meetings with Ministers of Foreign Affairs of major Central Asian countries are
seen to have served as an opportunity to meticulously review the progress in
the implementation of the follow-ups on the meetings between the Presidents and
the Prime Ministers of the ROK and the core cooperative partners of the ROK
government’s New Northern Policy, and to reaffirm Central Asian countries’ firm
support and cooperation on the ROK government’s New Northern Policy.