S. Korean president's Myanmar visit opens new chapter in bilateral ties
Rangoon, May 16 (Xinhua-ANI): South Korean President Lee Myung-bak 's two-day goodwill visit to Myanmar, which ended here Tuesday, has opened up a new chapter of friendly ties between the two countries, observers here said.
Lee's visit, the first in 30 years, was also described as a milestone visit in the history of Myanmar-S. Korea bilateral relations.
Meeting with Lee in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar President U Thin Sein said his country wishes to further promote bilateral cooperation in the future based on the improved relations.
On Myanmar's internal peace efforts, Thein Sein hoped all ethnic armed groups will participate in the peace process, and for the issue of national reconciliation efforts, he said Myanmar is trying to boost cooperation based on common ground for the interest of the nation and people, setting aside different ideologies.
He also briefed Lee on Myanmar's agriculture, finance, trade, investment, rural development, poverty alleviation and socio- economic development, wishing South Korea to share its experience in the aspects.
Lee recognized Myanmar's recent efforts toward political change, appraising it for making the right choice in building a new nation with new system, promoting democracy and human rights and making more new friends in the international community.
The two leaders discussed matters related to strengthening friendly ties, technical assistance for the development of Myanmar, human resources development, finance, economy, education, infrastructure, industrial development, environmental conservation, tourism, transportation, communications, science and technology, and energy and mining.
According to South Korean official sources, Lee told U Thein Sein during the summit that cooperation between the two countries will further move forward if Myanmar's democratization process goes smoothly, offering expanded loan and aid to Myanmar and increasing cooperation on energy and resources development.
The sources disclosed that Myanmar assured Seoul of ceasing to buy conventional weapons from North Korea, saying that Myanmar had not pursued the development of nuclear weapons and vowed to honor a U.N. Security Council resolution.
In a 45-minute meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, a parliament member and leader of the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), in Yangon, Lee pledged to help Myanmar achieve both democracy and economic development, stressing that democracy should go together with industrial development.
The pair also agreed on the importance of education with Lee vowing to increase loans to Myanmar to help set up an economic policy institute and to invite Myanmar students to study in South Korea.
On the occasion, Lee also met representatives of resident Korean organizations and Myanmar entrepreneurs.
Lee also visited the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon to pay tribute to the 17 Korean government officials killed in a bomb attack there by Pyongyang agents in October 1983 when the former South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan escaped the assassination during his visit to Yangon. (Xinhua-ANI)
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