DiplomaticQuarter: Outgoing Korean ambassador says KSA will always be ‘second home’

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Thu, 2021-06-03 00:36

Jo Byung-wook, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Saudi Arabia, who recently completed his tenure, praised the pace of development in the Kingdom as part of its Vision 2030 program.

In a moving message from Seoul on Wednesday, the top diplomat told Arab News that he would always consider Saudi Arabia his “second home.”

“It was a great honor and privilege to serve as the ambassador of South Korea to promote common interests of both of our countries. Though I am leaving this great country, I will remain as a staunch supporter of Saudi Arabia.”

He said during his stay in the Kingdom he witnessed significant developments in ties between the two countries.

“I left Saudi Arabia in the late afternoon of May 31 (Monday), after a courtesy visit to Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar,” Jo said in his message.

“My tenure coincided with the great transformation that the Kingdom is going through. In that sense, I have had a unique experience to witness all the historic changes. During my tenure, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made an official visit to Korea, which helped strengthen our ties and took them to a new level. This is something that I feel proud of,” Jo said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited South Korea in mid-2019 during which he held meetings with the Korean leaders and discussed wider economic ties between the two countries.

On May 30, the outgoing ambassador made a courtesy call on Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih. During the meeting, he praised the Saudi leadership for its swift and successful response to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The diplomat lauded the Saudi authorities for their proactive approach to ensure the health and safety of citizens and expatriates living in the Kingdom.

He also appreciated the Saudi reform measures under Vision 2030. Jo also expressed his satisfaction over the growing economic cooperation between the Kingdom and South Korea in various fields such as energy, manufacturing, defense, healthcare, and culture.

He also thanked the Saudi government for its support to the Korean companies operating in the Kingdom.

Korean Ambassador Jo Byung-wook met Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih in Riyadh before his departure at the end of his tenure. (Supplied)
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