(2nd LD) Yoon, UAE president stroll through palace, have dinner

SEOUL, President Yoon Suk Yeol and United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan bonded over dinner and a stroll through an ancient palace as the UAE leader embarks on a state visit to South Korea on Tuesday, Yoon’s office said.

The two leaders visited the Huwon Secret Garden at Changdeok Palace in Seoul and discussed various topics, including South Korean culture, while taking a walk through the palace grounds, the presidential office said. First lady Kim Keon Hee joined the two.

Also at the palace, the leaders watched a performance of a traditional royal court dance and drank tea in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere, before heading to Cheong Wa Dae, the former presidential compound, for dinner.

“Let us further develop the special strategic partnership between our two countries through your visit,” Yoon was quoted as saying as he welcomed the first state visit to South Korea by a UAE president.

Mohamed thanked Yoon and Kim for their warm welcome and voiced his high expectations fo
r the outcome of his two-day visit.

The UAE president arrived in the country earlier in the day for summit talks with Yoon and meetings with business leaders.

In a gesture of honor and respect, four Air Force F-15 fighter jets escorted the UAE presidential jet after it entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone.

Upon his arrival in Seoul, Mohamed met with chiefs of South Korea’s large business groups, including Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor Group Chair Euisun Chung and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, to discuss ways to promote cooperation in advanced technology, defense and energy.

On Wednesday, an official welcome ceremony will feature an air show by the Air Force’s Black Eagles acrobatic team and traditional performances.

Yoon and Mohamed will then hold a summit to discuss cooperation in sectors that include energy, defense and investment.

Yoon made a state visit to the UAE in January 2023, the first such visit by a South Korean leader since the two countries
established diplomatic ties in 1980.

During their summit at the time, Mohamed announced his country’s plan to invest US$30 billion in South Korea and signed 13 memorandums of understanding covering energy, arms and climate change, among other sectors.

Source: Yonhap News Agency