SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will embark on a trip next week to three Central Asian countries, marking his first visit to the region since taking office in 2017, his office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.

Moon will embark on an eight-day trip next Tuesday to make state visits to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, in that order.

The three countries are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States that were formed by the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Moon's trip will begin with a three-day visit to Ashgabat, where he will hold a summit with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

He will head to Uzbekistan next Thursday to make a four-day visit for a summit with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev that will focus on "ways to further upgrade the countries' strategic partnership and expand their future-oriented cooperation," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

Moon's three-nation tour will end in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan that was recently renamed Nur-Sultan.

There he will hold a summit with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to discuss ways to promote mutual cooperation between the countries.

"President Moon's trip is expected to help further strengthen the country's traditional friendship with the three Central Asian nations and also establish the foundation for future cooperation with these countries," Cheong Wa Dae said.

The South Korean leader will return home April 23.

Source: Yonhap news Agency