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South Korea, UK top diplomats on separate working visits to Singapore

South Korea, UK top diplomats on separate working visits to Singapore

South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong and UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab were in Singapore for separate working visits. (Photos: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)

SINGAPORE: South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong and UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab were in Singapore on Thursday (Jun 24) for separate working visits, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Mr Chung and Mr Raab met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan separately on Thursday.

In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said: "Happy to have the opportunity to touch base with our foreign friends, to figure out how we can all emerge stronger together." 

This is Mr Chung's first visit to Singapore in his capacity as South Korea's foreign minister, said MFA. 

Mr Chung and Dr Balakrishnan discussed ways of expanding and deepening cooperation between Singapore and South Korea, including in new emerging areas such as fintech and the digital economy, as both countries work towards COVID-19 recovery. 

The two ministers also agreed on the importance of restoring air connectivity between Singapore and South Korea in a gradual and safe way, said MFA. 

Dr Balakrishnan reaffirmed longstanding ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Korea, and looked forward to Seoul's continued efforts to broaden its cooperation with the region. 

Both Mr Chung and Dr Balakrishnan also exchanged views on regional issues, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula. 

Mr Chung also met with Mr Lee. Both ministers reaffirmed the "warm and close" friendship between South Korea and Singapore. 

Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by Republic of Korea Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong on Jun 24, 2021. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

"They welcomed further bilateral exchanges to strengthen cooperation in confronting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic," said MFA, adding that Mr Lee welcomed South Korea's interest to strengthen its engagement of ASEAN. 

Both Mr Lee and Mr Chung also had a broad discussion on regional and international developments. 

UK SEEKING TO DEEPEN ENGAGEMENT WITH REGION

Mr Lee and Dr Balakrishnan also met with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday.

Mr Raab and Dr Balakrishnan took stock of the "excellent bilateral relationship" between the two countries, underpinned by the Singapore-UK Partnership for the Future, which had been re-committed earlier in March through a joint political statement. 

Both of them also discussed ways to enhance cooperation, including in areas such as the digital economy and climate change. Dr Balakrishnan welcomed the UK's interest to deepen its engagement of the region through ASEAN, as well as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by United Kingdom First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab on Jun 24, 2021. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

"They also exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation, and agreed to strengthen cooperation on health and the safe resumption of international travel," said MFA. 

Mr Raab also called on Mr Lee, during which they reaffirmed ties between Singapore and the UK. They reiterated the two countries' shared interest in upholding free trade, multilateralism and a rules-based international order. 

Mr Raab's visit to Singapore comes after a trip to Cambodia on Wednesday, where he pushed for closer economic relations between the UK and Southeast Asia. 

Source: CNA/lk(ac)

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