South Korea and Saudi Arabia Issue Joint Statement Opposing Civilian Targeting in Israel-Hamas Conflict, Announce Bilateral Agreements

RIYADH - Leaders of South Korea and Saudi Arabia have jointly condemned the targeting of civilians in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and have committed to working towards the prompt and unhindered provision of humanitarian aid to those affected.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, the statement was formalized during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's four-day state visit to Saudi Arabia and subsequent summit with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman. This marks the first such agreement between the two nations since 1980 and comprises 44 clauses encompassing a broad spectrum of issues.

The statement outlines the leaders' shared objective of amplifying their countries' roles in fostering global and regional peace and stability. Specifically, they addressed the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine, emphasizing adherence to international and humanitarian law for the protection of civilians. Both leaders "agreed to work with the international community for the rapid and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to suffering civilians," while also stressing the need for a political resolution and lasting peace predicated on the two-state solution.

Beyond the Middle East conflict, the document also explores prospective collaborations in various sectors like construction, infrastructure, energy, climate change, and defense. Mutual investments in emerging fields such as the hydrogen economy, smart cities, and future mobility are particularly highlighted.

During President Yoon's visit, contracts and memorandums of understanding worth billions were signed, including a US$2.4 billion gas plant deal and a $400 million car assembly plant project.

The topic of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs was also discussed. Both parties denounced any violations of Security Council resolutions aimed at combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Saudi Arabia expressed appreciation for South Korea's "Audacious Initiative," a policy offering extensive economic assistance in return for North Korea's denuclearization commitment.

The statement concluded by acknowledging the interrelatedness of stability in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, reinforcing each country's support for the other's efforts to maintain regional and international peace.

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