South Korea and Qatar Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement

SEOUL — South Korea and Qatar have taken a significant step towards bolstering their defense relationship by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at enhancing bilateral defense cooperation. The agreement was signed in Doha by South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik and Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense, Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, during a series of talks that underscore Seoul's intent to expand its arms exports to the Middle East.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the MOU encompasses plans for regular defense ministerial dialogues and efforts to lay a structural foundation for ongoing defense collaboration. The two nations agreed to strengthen cooperation across various defense sectors, including increasing exchanges between defense institutes and expanding joint military exercises.

This agreement comes in a significant year, marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Qatar. It follows a state visit to Qatar by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol last October, where both countries elevated their ties to a "comprehensive strategic partnership." During his visit, Minister Shin also engaged in diplomatic activities, including a meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and attending a football match between South Korea and Jordan, further underscoring the multifaceted relationship between the two nations. Shin's visit to Qatar was the final leg of his three-nation tour of the Middle East, which also included stops in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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