January 10, 2018 12:42
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday met Khaldoon Al Mubarak, a senior adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
Al Mubarak delivered a message from the crown prince and invited Moon to visit the UAE.
The visit came amid a spat between the two countries that an earlier secret visit by Moon's chief of staff Im Jong-seok failed to quell entirely.
The tiff erupted over secretive military pacts forged by the last two conservative administrations and allegations from the Moon government of massive corruption in Korea's bid for nuclear power projects in the UAE under President Lee Myung-bak.
In a meeting with Im on Tuesday, Al Mubarak agreed to maintain the pacts signed during the Lee administration. The two sides also agreed to resume talks between the foreign and defense vice ministers of both countries.
Al Mubarak proposed bolstering military cooperation between the two countries. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We will maintain and bolster the existing military cooperation."
The UAE apparently feared that the Moon administration would scrap the pacts. But Im's recent visit and Al Mubarak's reciprocal trip seem to have put the matter to rest.
Im and Al Mubarak agreed to forge a "comprehensive strategic relationship." "A marriage can't always be smooth and challenges must be overcome," Al Mubarak was quoted as saying.
He also met with Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu and discussed cooperation between Korean and UAE builders in the Middle Eastern nuclear power plant market.
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