UPDATE : 2019.9.21 SAT 10:58
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Moon to visit S. Korean troops in UAE, meet ruler of Dubai

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to make a rare trip Tuesday to meet a South Korean military contingent in the United Arab Emirates under a program to help train UAE troops, followed by a meeting with the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai.

The president will first travel to the base of the South Korean military unit, Akh, to meet its 138 service members, according to his office Cheong Wa Dae.

The Akh unit has been stationed here since January 2011 to help train UAE troops and help protect South Korean residents in case of any armed conflicts here.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan shake hands before the start of their bilateral summit in Abu Dhabi on March 25, 2018. (Yonhap)

While meeting South Korean residents in Abu Dhabi on Monday, the South Korean president partly confirmed his country's continued commitment to the joint training program, saying the countries will become brothers, as the name of South Korean unit, Akh, means brother in Arabic.

"The two countries will become true brothers that look into the next 100 years, just as the name of the 'Akh' unit means," he said.

In a bilateral summit, also held here Sunday, Moon and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan agreed to further upgrade the countries' strategic partnership to a "special strategic partnership," making the UAE the first Middle Eastern nation to have established such a relationship with South Korea.

Moon will travel to Dubai later in the day for a meeting with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

He will head home later Tuesday, ending his four-day official visit to the UAE and his two-nation trip that earlier took him to Vietnam for a state visit. (Yonhap)

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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