S Korean pres. to make historic visit to Iran next month

SEOUL, Apr. 18 (MNA) – President Park Geun-hye plans to make a historic visit to Tehran next month for talks with her Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) said Monday, the trip which is a move that underscores South Korea's efforts to boost ties and tap into business opportunities in the resource-rich country, is set for May 1 to 3, and comes as Iran has emerged as a lucrative business destination following the lifting of international sanctions earlier this year.

The sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear program have been lifted in a follow-up to a nuclear deal reached with the 5+1.

During the talks, Park and Rouhani are expected to exchange opinions on how to boost substantial cooperation in health, environment and culture as well as infrastructure, industrial plants and energy-related areas.

Iran is seeking large-scale infrastructure development projects to rebuild its economy that was hampered by the international sanctions.

The trip would be the first to the Islamic republic by a South Korean president since the two sides established diplomatic relations in 1962, according to the South Korean presidential office.

In November, South Korea's top diplomat Yun Byung-se visited Iran - for the first time in 14 years. In February, South Korean Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan visited Tehran with a large business delegation.

The trade volume between S Korea and Iran stood at US$6.1 billion in 2015.

Iran boasts the world's fourth-largest known crude oil deposits and ranks No. 1 in terms of natural gas reserves.

In January, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran, becoming the first foreign leader to travel to Tehran following the lifting of sanctions.

 

YNA/MNA

 

News Code 115920

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