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President Moon to wrap up Middle East, Africa trip Friday Updated: 2022-01-21 17:08:40 KST


President Moon Jae-in returns home Friday after a week-long tour of the Middle East and North Africa with deals in promising areas like defense and eco-friendly energy under his belt.
South Korea will be selling mid-range surface-to-air missiles also known as the Cheongung II to the United Arab Emirates.
The two sides signed an MOU following talks between President Moon and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the UAE's Prime Minister and the ruler of Dubai.
Although the specifics have yet to be disclosed, the deal is expected to be worth around 3.5 billion U.S. dollars the largest in the country's defense history for a single weapons contract.
The UAE will become the first importer of the missile.


"President Moon said he was happy to ink MOUs on mid-to-long term defense cooperation and defense technology cooperation and the deal for Cheongung II went smoothly. He called for continued efforts so it leads to reciprocal cooperation, like joint research and development, production within the UAE and joint entry into third markets."


While in Saudi Arabia President Moon met with de-facto ruler Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman agreeing to expand the horizon of their cooperation from traditional areas like construction to promising ones, such as the hydrogen economy.
The two sides inked nine related MOUs, including one allowing Seoul to secure supplies of hydrogen and ammonia from Riyadh.
South Korea will also help build hydrogen-related infrastructure, like fueling stations, in Saudi Arabia.

Hydrogen is a sector where potential for bilateral cooperation is huge. Combining Saudi Arabia's ability to produce green and blue hydrogen, and South Korea's capacity to utilize and distribute hydrogen, the two countries will be able to lead the hydrogen economy.

Over in Egypt, President Moon said Seoul and Cairo are in negotiations for Egypt to buy South Korean-made K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.
Following a summit with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Moon said the two sides are working toward a final conclusion.
If struck, it would be the first time the K-9's been exported to the Arab region.

We share the understanding that a deal on K-9 howitzers would an achievement for defense cooperation between our two nations based on mutual trust, and that the K-9 self-propelled howitzer would greatly contribute to enhancing the Egyptian military's power. It would also be a successful case of mutual cooperation in technology and localized production.

"The Blue House expects Moon's trip to have served as an opportunity to foster a foundation for cooperation with the Middle East and Africa toward a better, sustainable future and contribute to a further increase of exports and orders for future energy, weapons and construction. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Cairo."
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