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President Park discusses cooperation with high-ranking overseas officials

President Park Geun-hye met with both former and incumbent high-ranking overseas officials and discussed ways to enhance Korea’s relationship with their respective countries at Cheong Wa Dae on March 26, according to the presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing.

The attendees of the meeting included former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and French Cabinet Minister Fleur Pellerin, the Korean-born Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium-sized enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy. All of them visited Korea for the Asian Leadership Conference held by the Chosun Ilbo, a leading daily in Korea.

With greetings in fluent English and French, President Park welcomed the guests and discussed ways to enhance the diplomatic relationship between Korea and the countries of the guests.

President Park spoke highly of the welfare policy of Finland from when former President Tarja Halonen was in office and shared opinions about gender equality and extending the role of women in society.

President Park Geun-hye greets high-ranking overseas officials on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (from left): Korean-born French Minister Fleur Pellerin, former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, President Park, and former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri (photo: Yonhap News).

President Park Geun-hye greets high-ranking overseas officials on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (from left): Korean-born French Minister Fleur Pellerin, former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, President Park, and former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri (photo: Yonhap News).

President Park expressed hope to former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri that Korea and Indonesia can extend cooperation in trade and investment between Korea and Indonesia, mentioning that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Korea-Indonesia diplomatic relationship. The former Indonesian leader expressed her hope that bilateral cooperation between Korean and Indonesian firms can expand in the development in the R&D sector.

President Park expressed her thanks to former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende for attending the inauguration ceremony which took place on February 25. The former Dutch leader expressed his support for President Park’s administrative vision focusing on cultural enrichment and the happiness of the people.

President Park Geun-hye (second from left) shakes hands with French Minister Fleur Pellerin on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (photo: Cheong Wa Dae).

President Park Geun-hye (second from left) shakes hands with French Minister Fleur Pellerin on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (photo: Cheong Wa Dae).

President Park praised Korea-Australia ties, while mentioning Australia’s participation in the Korean War (1950-1953). Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke in response of his hope that negotiations for the Korea-Australia free trade agreement can wrap up in the near future so that the two countries can achieve progress in all areas, including economy and politics.

President Park Geun-hye (center) speaks at a meeting with high-ranking officials from overseas on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (photo: Cheong Wa Dae).

President Park Geun-hye (center) speaks at a meeting with high-ranking officials from overseas on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae (photo: Cheong Wa Dae).

President Park expressed her thanks to former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo for attending the inauguration ceremony. She called for the former Japanese leader to play a bigger role in improving Seoul-Tokyo ties and working towards the peace and prosperity of Asia. President Park discussed ways to boost cooperation in the energy sector between Korea and Japan.

President Park welcomed the Korean-born French Minister Fleur Pellerin and expressed her hope that the small and medium-sized firms of Korea and France can enhance cooperation. The French minister expressed her thanks for the warm hospitality of Korea and said she will seek concrete measures to boost cooperation in not only SMEs, but also the innovation and education sectors.

By Yoon Sojung
arete@korea.kr

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