S. Korea, Saudi Arabia agree to widen relations to IT, education
RIYADH, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and
Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz held a summit here
Saturday evening (local time) and agreed to expand bilateral
relations and cooperation to information technology, education and
culture, Roh's office said.
Roh arrived in this Saudi Arabian capital on Saturday afternoon for
a three-day official visit aimed at boosting South Korea's economic
relations with the leading Middle East country.
"Roh and Abdullah agreed
to widen two-way cooperation in the fields of energy, construction,
plant, education, IT and culture and develop bilateral relations
into a comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnership," the
office said in a press release.
"The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in securing a
stable supply of oil for South Korea and increasing the country's
construction orders in Saudi Arabia. They also highly evaluated each
other's efforts for peace and stability in the Middle East."
Roh became the first South Korean head of state to visit Saudi
Arabia in 27 years. In May 1980, then South Korean President Choi
Kyu-hah visited Riyadh, but hurriedly returned home without a summit
with Saudi Arabia's king due to the outbreak of an emergency
situation at home.
"Roh and Abdullah agreed to help expand South Korean companies'
participation in Saudi Arabia's state-initiated construction and IT
projects. Roh asked Abdullah to visit South Korea in the near future
and the Saudi leader accepted his invitation."
Saudi Arabia, the fourth-largest supplier of oil to South Korea, is
the single largest construction market for Korean builders, with
cumulative orders totaling US$58 billion, according to government
Following the summit, the two countries' cabinet ministers signed
memorandums of understanding on dual taxation prevention and
cooperation in the higher education and IT sectors.