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KOR

Press Releases

ROK Foreign Ministry Hosts 18th Iftar Dinner

Date
2024-03-29
hit
2516

1. On March 29, Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yul hosted the 18th Iftar dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The dinner brought together Koreans and foreigners from relevant fields, including the diplomatic corps from the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).


2. In his welcoming remarks, Foreign Minister Cho said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been holding the Iftar dinner for 20 years. He noted that what started as a gathering of some 20 participants from the diplomatic corps has now become an annual tradition dedicated to fostering mutual understanding and respect for different beliefs and cultures, with participants from various backgrounds.


3. Foreign Minister Cho remarked that the ties between Korea and the Muslim community date back centuries and that our shared affinity is evident in modern history, including Türkiye and Morocco’s participation in the Korean War and the so-called “Middle East Boom” in the 1970s. He noted that President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar last year, and that his visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE and the Education City Mosque in Qatar attests to the importance the Korean government attaches to promoting inter-cultural understanding.


4. Foreign Minister Cho recalled that millions of civilians are suffering in Gaza. He emphasized that the international community must work to put an end to this tragedy, and stressed the need for effective, rapid delivery of humanitarian aid, the protection of women and girls during times of war, and the release of all hostages. He said that the international community must engage in earnest dialogue to reach a political solution that brings long-term, irreversible peace.


5. In his speech that followed, Ambassador of Morocco Chafik Rachadi thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for organizing the annual Iftar event. He remarked that this event promotes friendship between the ROK and Islamic countries and that it symbolizes unity and coexistence. He also asked the participants to join the prayer for the end of suffering, war, dispute and injustice, wherever they may be found.


6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been organizing the annual Iftar dinner since 2004. This year marked the largest event, with more than 200 guests participating, including business leaders, religious figures, scholars, students, and journalists as well as social media influencers. The Ministry will continue its efforts to promote communication between Korea and Islamic cultures and to advance mutual understanding and tolerance, including by holding the annual Iftar dinner.