ABU DHABI -- President Yoon Suk Yeol said Saturday he expects to see "big achievements" from his state visit to the United Arab Emirates as he arrived with a business delegation representing some 100 firms.
Yoon made the remark while meeting with top UAE officials at Abu Dhabi International Airport immediately after his arrival, according to senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye.
Yoon is the first South Korean leader to pay a state visit to the UAE since the two sides established diplomatic ties in 1980.
"President Yoon said he is sincerely thankful for the warm welcome by the three gentlemen who are like symbols of the South Korea-UAE relationship," Kim told reporters, referring to UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazroui and Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi.
"He also said he is accompanied by various ministers and officials from over 100 businesses and that he looks forward to seeing big achievements from the visit," she said.
The two countries are expected to sign some 30 memorandums of understanding in the energy, arms and investment sectors.
During the meeting with Yoon, Foreign Minister Abdullah said he is honored to meet with the president and first lady Kim Keon Hee, who is accompanying him on the trip, and that he has looked forward to meeting them for a long time, according to Kim.
The minister also said it is especially significant that Yoon is the first leader to pay a state visit to the UAE since the May inauguration of President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Yoon is scheduled to hold a summit with his UAE counterpart and discuss ways to upgrade the two countries' special strategic partnership.
As a special courtesy, four fighter planes of the UAE Air Force escorted the presidential jet carrying Yoon as it entered the UAE's air defense identification zone, Kim said. (Yonhap)