SEOUL, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has called on Kuwait to allow more South Korean companies to participate in infrastructure projects in the Middle Eastern country during talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart.

Lee embarked on trips to Kuwait, Colombia and Ecuador on Tuesday as part of the government's efforts to expand diplomacy with the Middle East and Central and South America.

Lee met with Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the prime minister of Kuwait, on Wednesday in Kuwait City to discuss ways to promote bilateral ties, his office said Thursday.

He asked Kuwait to allow more Korean companies to join key infrastructure projects there, including the construction of refinery and desalination plants in Al Zour and a port improvement project in Mubarak Al-Kabeer.

"Many Korean firms have an interest in joining the port project. I hope South Korean companies could have a chance to participate in (infrastructure) projects in Kuwait," Lee said.

The two prime minister clinched eight memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to promote cooperation, including a letter of intent for cooperation in the health care sector.

Lee also paid a courtesy call on Kuwait's emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and expressed appreciation for Kuwait's support for South Korea's peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Yonhap news Agency