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S. Korean Leader Wraps up Official Visit to UAE
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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak departed for Seoul on Monday night after a three-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) marked by a historic oil field development deal between the two sides.


   During Lee's trip, his second to the UAE in 15 months, the two sides signed a set of oil-related contracts, including an agreement to allow South Korea to exploit at least one billion barrels of crude oil in this Middle Eastern nation.


   It is South Korea's biggest-ever oil field development deal, a major breakthrough in its efforts to secure the stable supply of energy.


   The oil contract also represented another accomplishment by the Lee administration that has focused on the so-called sales diplomacy to improve economic ties with foreign nations.


   Lee's visit this time served as a "milestone bolstering bilateral cooperation in all areas, including the inroads of Korean businesses into the UAE, development of energy and construction of nuclear power plants as well as improvement of the environment and health care," the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.


   Earlier in the day, the president attended the groundbreaking ceremony for initial works at the proposed nuclear power plants in Braka, 300 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi, to be constructed by South Korea under a US$20 billion contract.


   Lee received the prize for global leadership at the award-winning ceremony for the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in Dubai.


   On Saturday, the president visited the camp of 130 elite combat troops dispatched by South Korea in January to help train their local counterparts.


   He is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Tuesday.


Source: Yonhap News (March 14, 2011)

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