President Park will travel to Europe next month

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President Park will travel to Europe next month

President Park Geun-hye will travel to Europe in early November, where she is scheduled to have meetings with top officials from France, Britain and Belgium, the Blue House announced yesterday.

The seven-day tour, from Nov. 2 to Nov. 8, is the president’s first visit to the region.

“The president’s upcoming tour around the West European countries will mark her first visit in the region for bilateral talks,” said Blue House spokeswoman Kim Haeng in a press briefing. “It is meaningful in that she has expanded her diplomatic horizon to Europe - home to culture and art, and leaders in global dialogue - following her successful diplomacy with the United States, China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and major countries in Southeast Asia this year.”

According to the Blue House, the president will spend the first three days in Paris, and is set to meet with French President Francois Hollande to discuss measures for mutual investment and trade and to lay the groundwork for cooperation in basic science and technology.

The two leaders will also discuss cultural and educational exchanges and reaffirm France’s support for South Korea’s policies on North Korea.

Park flies to London on Nov. 4 at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, where she will attend a banquet hosted by the Queen.

She is also scheduled to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss topics ranging from economic cooperation to cyberspace security and climate to the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Arriving in Belgium on Nov. 7, Park will meet with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to talk about economic cooperation between the two countries and attend a banquet hosted by King Philippe.

The next day, the last day of her official schedule, the president will visit the European Union for a meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

Topics of conversation among the three leaders will include future growth engines, cooperation in crisis management and the Korea-EU free trade agreement. The president will arrive back in Seoul on Nov. 9.

Park previously attended a Group of 20 summit in September in St. Petersburg, Russia.

She visited the United States in May, her first official visit after becoming president, which was trailed by a trip to China back in June.

She completed visits to Indonesia and Brunei last week.



BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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