S Korea reopens embassy in Bahrain
Manama, September 4, 2012
South Korea reopened its embassy in Bahrain for the first time yesterday (September 3) since closing its last diplomatic mission here 21 years ago following a financial crisis.
The country first opened an embassy in Bahrain in 1976.
However, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the countries had always maintained diplomatic ties, adding that they would only improve with the opening of the new mission.
'We have been in diplomatic relations for the last 36 years and we have both benefitted from each other's expertise,' he said at the opening of the South Korean Embassy in Salmaniya.
'The Koreans, like their Bahraini counterparts, have overcome a lot of challenges and are one of world's economic powers. The Koreans have contributed towards making the region a stable and secure place and we have benefitted from that as well.'
Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-Hyun said Bahrain and Korea have strengthened friendly co-operation since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1976.
'I do not think the 21-year gap is a stumbling block for the development of our friendly bilateral ties. Today's reopening of the embassy is an opportunity to reconfirm our friendship, and I hope that it would serve as a foundational cornerstone to further promote our long-term cooperation,' he added.
Embassy charge d'affaires Joonha Yu described Bahrain as a hub for trade and transport in the Gulf and a bridgehead for Korean construction companies operating in the region since the 1970s.
He said since then Hyundai Engineering and Construction had built the Dry Dock, which meant Bahrain maintained its reputation as a key shipbuilding and repair centre.
Joonha said other Korean companies too contributed to Bahrain's development by participating in the construction of important government buildings, offices, main roads and hi-tech infrastructure projects.
He added both governments had concluded several agreements in the fields of trade promotion, economic and technical co-operation and culture.
Several ambassadors, businessmen, MPs and other invited guests were present for the opening. – TradeArabia News Service
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