middle east

middle east

Trip to Iran formed new cooperative relationship with Tehran: President Park

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President Park Geun-hye says her recent state visit to Iran will provide Korea with some much-need growth momentum. She says the visit could spark the second Middle East Boom, a period of lucrative business deals with the region. Connie Kim reports. Wrapping up President Park Geun-hye's state visit to Iran, the president said Seoul and Tehran were able to share a common view on forming a new cooperative relationship. She went on to say Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Tehran's highest figure in religion and politics, showed special interest in Seoul's economic growth story. "He has faith in revitalizing Iran's economy which is the country's ultimate goal at this point. So, we naturally discussed our experience of economic development." The President also pointed out it was worthwhile to help small and mid-sized Korean businesses through one-on-one consultations that had difficulty entering foreign markets. Over 900 consultation sessions took place sealing record deals worth some 537 million U.S. dollars. Referring to Seoul's past experience of boosting the Middle East economy in the 1970s, President Park said this was the chance to create a second Middle East boom. "We can bring about a second Middle East boom and I plan to make sure that through this we can create a recovery momentum for the Korean economy as well as our export figures." The Korean president and her Iranian counterpart announced a total of 66 MOUs including power plant and railway construction,... with the deal mounting to some 37 billion dollars for Seoul. Iran's opposition of any forms of nuclear development on the Korean peninsula was also one of the biggest achievements the President noted during her three-day visit. "I believe my trip to Iran was significant in that we made room for cooperation with Iran on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula." The president also emphasized that Korean culture could pave the way for cooperation in other fields, taking note of Iran's great potential after the lifting of sanctions that followed its landmark nuclear deal last year. Connie Kim, Arirang News.