Last updated: 10 February, 2012

South Korea’s Lee holds talks with Abu Dhabi crown prince

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak discussed cooperation with the United Arab Emirates during a meeting on Friday with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, state news agency WAM reported.

Lee discussed with Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahayan “several issues that help strengthen cooperation between the UAE and South Korea, as well as the latest developments,” WAM reported on the last day of Lee’s Gulf tour which concludes in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mohammed “assured” Lee that the UAE “supports cooperation and partnership between the two friendly states by all means that serve the interests of both countries,” WAM said without giving further details.

The visit came after the South Korean president signed a 20-year agreement with the UAE’s gas-rich neighbour Qatar on Thursday for the sale of two million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year.

In a Gulf tour that began on Tuesday, Lee also secured Saudi pledges to ensure a stable supply of oil to his country.

Washington wants close ally Seoul to reduce purchases of Iranian crude in line with a US-led drive to impose crippling economic sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest oil importer, accounts for around 10 percent of Iran’s oil exports and has yet to cut its purchases because of fears about the economic impact.