Abu Dhabi--President Moon Jae-in called Korea’s Akh Unit dispatched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a symbol of defense cooperation between the two countries and a model of reciprocal relations.
He visited the unit in the Sweihan region, Tuesday, the last day of his visit to the Middle Eastern country to boost the morale of the soldiers.
First dispatched in January 2011, the unit supports training of the UAE’s special warfare unit and holds joint exercises with it. It is also tasked with protecting Korean people here in the case of an emergency. Now 138 soldiers are stationed with the unit.
“The Akh Unit is the pride of Korean armed forces and the symbol of cooperation between Korea and the UAE,” Moon told the soldiers. “Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also highly evaluated your work, saying the unit is a foundation stone that has boosted the two countries’ cooperation.”
Moon noted it was the first Korean unit dispatched for military cooperation in a non-troubled region, while Korea had participated in United Nations peace-keeping operations (PKO), which are aimed at resolving conflicts in troubled regions and doing recovery work.
“It has become a new model for defense cooperation,” he said. “You are contributing to enhancing the UAE army’s special warfare capabilities. Through the Akh Unit’s contribution, Korea and the UAE have become special strategic partners and formed a brotherhood.”
Akh is an Arabic word meaning “brother.” In Sunday’s summit, Moon and the crown prince agreed that defense cooperation was the core of their bilateral relationship.
The two nations decided to establish a vice minister-level consultative body in diplomacy and defense. The UAE has been the largest importer of Korea-made weapons in the Middle East, and Moon said he would cooperate in not only transferring Korea’s defense technology to the UAE but also developing and manufacturing weapons together and jointly advancing into third countries. After being briefed on the history and activities of the unit, Moon had talks with the soldiers over snacks.?Agencies
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