SEOUL, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha held a luncheon meeting Friday with a group of African ambassadors in Seoul to discuss ways to enhance South Korea's partnership with their countries, her office said.

During the meeting at her official residence, Kang stressed Seoul's desire to further strengthen its relations with the African countries, noting progress in their efforts for regional integration, economic growth and peace.

Led by Gabon's Ambassador Carlos Boungou, the group consisted of top envoys to Seoul from 20 African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Libya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Egypt.

Recalling her past encounters with people in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar during her stint as a senior U.N. humanitarian officer, Kang voiced her conviction that their unflagging passion and hope meant a bright future for Africa.

Kang also called for African countries' continued support for Seoul's diplomacy aimed at denuclearizing North Korea and fostering lasting peace on the divided peninsula.

Ambassador Boungou reaffirmed African countries' backing for South Korea's peace drive. He also noted Seoul's push to deepen ties with the continent through various measures such as the launch last year of a foundation aimed at bolstering cooperation with the continent.

"The foreign ministry plans to host a series of events with the foundation to enhance mutual understanding and friendly cooperative relations with Africa," the ministry said in a press release.

Source: Yonhap news Agency