Saudi MbS to visit South Korea, meet President Moon to bolster economic ties

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Seoul, June 24: Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MbS, has said he was planning to pay an official visit to South Korea as early as this week in a bid to bolster economic ties between both the nations, Seoul officials on Monday reported.

According to Reuters news reports, the crown prince is scheduled to kick off his two-day official visit to South Korea from Wednesday, which will mark the first crown prince from the world’s largest oil exporters to pay an official visit to Seoul since 1998.

The Kingdom’s defence minister and de facto ruler, MbS is expected to hold a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on June 26, according to the S Korean presidential office.

“The two sides will sign a series of agreements to promote cooperation on areas including energy and public service,” a South Korean official told Reuters.

South Korea is amongst the largest oil supplier of South Korean oil. In the very first month of 2019, Seoul had imported around 101.5 million barrels of crude oil from the Middle East, down 2.7 per cent from a year ago, as per the data showed by state Korean National Oil Corp (KNOC).

S Korea has also been keen on nuclear power projects of Saudi Arabia. The state-run KNOC was last July shortlisted in efforts for constructing nuclear power plans in the Kingdom.

MbS’ trip follows a recent United Nations (UN) report accusing Riyadh of “deliberate, premeditated execution” of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October. Khashoggi was murder last year on October 2 in Saudi consulate of Istanbul, which the United States has concluded in a CIA assessment that MbS ordered the killing of the journalist.

 

Also read: Journalist Khashoggi killing: Saudi MbS linked with ‘credible evidence’, UN investigator Callamard calls for probe

 

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