Korea, Spain agree to upgrade ties to 'strategic partnership'

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Korea, Spain agree to upgrade ties to 'strategic partnership'

President Moon Jae-in, left, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, right, toast each other at the Prime Minister’s Palace in Madrid on Wednesday.  [BLUE HOUSE]

President Moon Jae-in, left, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, right, toast each other at the Prime Minister’s Palace in Madrid on Wednesday. [BLUE HOUSE]

 
MADRID - South Korea and Spain agreed Wednesday to elevate their bilateral relationship to a "strategic partnership."

 
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain said that the two sides have developed close cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1950.
 
They agreed to upgrade bilateral ties to a "strategic partnership"  to deepen "friendship and the level of substantive cooperation by a notch," the Blue House said.
 
The leaders also adopted a joint statement on the vision.
 
"Recognizing the value of the mutually beneficial relations, the two leaders agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in order to advance joint efforts" in the fields of political and diplomatic cooperation; international and multilateral cooperation; international peace and security; economic cooperation; science, technology and innovation; and culture, education, sports, people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation, the statement read.
 
They agreed to continue to push for equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines, it added.
 
They also agreed to work together to return bilateral trade and investment to pre-pandemic levels.
 
Two-way trade between the two countries shrank to $4.2 billion last year from $5.4 billion in 2019.
 
The leaders decided to step up efforts for Korean and Spanish construction and infrastructure companies to launch more joint businesses in third markets, especially in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Latin America.
 
On the occasion of Moon's state visit, the two countries signed agreements on customs mutual assistance and health cooperation. They also signed memorandums of understanding on bolstering partnerships in digital innovation, start-ups and clean energy sectors.
 
Earlier in the day, Moon laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen for Spain and attended a South Korea-Spain Green & Digital Business Forum together with Sanchez.
 
Moon arrived in Spain on Tuesday for a three-day state visit.
 
Yonhap
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