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Yoon meets world leaders in New York for 3rd day to promote Expo bid

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 21, 2023 - 10:22

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President Yoon Suk Yeol meets with Swiss President Alain Berset in New York on Wednesday. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol meets with Swiss President Alain Berset in New York on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol held a series of summits with world leaders in New York on Wednesday as part of his ongoing efforts to secure support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan.

Yoon, on the third day of his trip to attend the UN General Assembly, is using the annual gathering to meet with dozens of leaders on the sidelines in a last-minute push to bolster the country's campaign for the Expo bid.

Yoon engaged in a series of discussions with leaders from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, with each meeting lasting approximately 30 minutes, according to the presidential office.

Yoon met with Swiss President Alain Berset, during which he expressed gratitude for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the office said.

He further expressed hopes for close cooperation on significant issues, including North Korea.

During a meeting with Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera, Yoon welcomed active exchanges of high-ranking officials between the two nations.

Last year, Touadera made a historic visit to South Korea, marking the first visit by an African nation's president in 20 years.

Touadera extended his gratitude to the Seoul government for its diverse support in the development of his country.

Yoon also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, marking their first summit since Netanyahu's inauguration in his sixth term.

The two nations signed a free trade agreement in May last year, which came into force on Dec. 1, making South Korea the first Asian country to have an FTA with the Middle Eastern nation.

Yoon emphasized the significance of the South Korea-Israel FTA as the first of its kind for South Korea in the Middle East.

During discussions with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, President Yoon suggested increased cooperation in the extraction of minerals, such as copper and gold.

In response, the African leader requested greater participation of South Korean companies in mineral development projects.

Yoon also met with Katalin Novak, the president of Hungary, and sought support for local companies expanding their presence abroad.

"Hungary stands as one of our key economic cooperation partners in eastern Europe, with over 300 South Korean companies currently active there," Yoon said.

Yoon also conducted meetings with leaders from Thailand, Bulgaria, Greece and Kyrgyzstan. (Yonhap)