UAE and ROK Announce Progress in Strategic Partnership

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) recently reaffirmed their commitment to a strengthened relationship, issuing a joint statement following a successful state visit by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to South Korea.

The visit, which took place in late May 2024, built upon the momentum established during President Yoon Suk Yeol's visit to the UAE in January 2023. Both sides acknowledged the significant progress made in key areas since then, highlighting advancements in transformation technology, medical devices, and hydrogen infrastructure.

The leaders emphasized their shared vision for an even more robust "Special Strategic Partnership" between the two nations. This partnership, initially established in 2023, focuses on collaboration across several critical sectors.

A core pillar of the partnership is cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy. The statement highlighted the success of the existing UAE-ROK High-Level Consultation on Nuclear Cooperation and expressed a desire to explore further avenues for collaboration, including the potential of small modular reactors (SMRs). SMRs are gaining traction as a safe and efficient means of nuclear power generation.

Economic cooperation also emerged as a key focus area. The UAE's sovereign wealth funds announced their continued commitment to investing in strategic sectors within the ROK, with a focus on areas aligned with the country's long-term economic goals. This builds upon the $30 billion investment pledge made during President Yoon's visit to the UAE.

The leaders acknowledged the importance of collaboration in the energy sector, particularly with regards to conventional and clean energy sources. The statement highlighted the intention to establish a comprehensive strategic energy partnership, fostering cooperation in oil and gas, strategic crude oil reserves, renewable energy, and the development of a hydrogen economy.

Beyond these core areas, the statement also signaled a commitment to expand cooperation into new frontiers. Joint research and human exchange in information and communication technology (ICT) were identified as promising avenues for collaboration, reflecting both countries' focus on innovation and technological advancement.

The UAE and ROK also expressed their intent to strengthen cultural exchange and people-to-people ties. This focus on cultural understanding aligns with both nations' efforts to build a more robust and multifaceted partnership.

The joint statement underscores the growing strategic partnership between the UAE and ROK. Both nations stand to benefit from deepened collaboration in vital sectors like energy, technology, and economic development. As they move forward, their combined efforts have the potential to contribute to regional stability and economic prosperity.

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