UPDATE : 2019.7.20 SAT 07:21
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Leaders of S. Korea, Uzbekistan vow efforts to enhance ties, boost cooperation

The leaders of South Korea and Uzbekistan agreed Thursday to further enhance bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries, celebrating the 25th anniversary of establishing their diplomatic ties.

In a bilateral summit at Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted the countries have historically maintained a friendly relationship.

"Uzbekistan warmly embraced Korean migrants who were forced to move there from the Far East 80 years ago, and it continues to have the largest number of Korean migrants," President Moon said while meeting his Uzbek counterpart for their first bilateral summit.

Mirziyoyev arrived here Wednesday on a four-day state visit. He is the second foreign head of state to make a state visit to South Korea since Moon took office in May. The first was U.S. President Donald Trump, who came here for a two-day visit earlier this month.

"The truth is I have been looking forward to this meeting with you, Mr. President. That is because, as you pointed out, we share many similarities in terms of our governing philosophies, and we also share many similar thoughts and visions for the future of the Uzbekistan-South Korea relations," Mirziyoyev said through his interpreter.

The Uzbek president also expressed gratitude for inviting him to the country as the second foreign head of state to make a state visit to South Korea during his term.

"That is why I wish you, President Moon, will be the first foreign head of state to make a state visit to Uzbekistan, and I wish to offer my official invitation," he said. Mirziyoyev came into office late last year.

As part of efforts to upgrade the countries' bilateral relationship both "qualitatively and quantitatively," the two leaders agreed to expand their exchange of ranking government officials and also expand the areas of cooperation, Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

Kim Su-a  edt@koreapost.com

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