The Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council) co-hosted the 18th Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum on November 18, 200 in Seoul, Korea, in partnership with the Korea-Arab Society (KAS) and Jeju Peace Institute (JPI), the event was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. First launched in 2003, this forum is a track 1.5 forum held annually in Korea and countries in the Middle East alternately and attended by both private and public sectors. The 19th forum will be held next year in Doha.
The theme of this year’s forum was “Building a Future-oriented Korea and the Middle East Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Common Prosperity” and featured three sessions. The sessions focused on ‘A Changing Middle East: Approaches to Maximize Opportunities,’ ‘Establishing a Cooperative Framework on Supply Chains and Future Industries,’ and ‘Ways to Address Food Security in Response to Global Instability’ respectively.
H.E. Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Bint Rashid Al-Khater represented the State of Qatar and delivered welcoming remarks highlighting the status and strength of the relationship between Korea and the Middle East as well as Korea-Qatar cooperation. H.E. Park Yongmin, Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea, also delivered welcoming remarks emphasizing that Korea is an ideal partner for cooperation with the Middle East towards a post-oil economy and in innovative future industries.
In his opening remarks, the Director of the ME Council, Tarik Yousef, stressed the importance of holding this forum at a time of increased cooperation between the Gulf and the Asian powers as the economic weight of the world gravitates towards Asia. Yousef also emphasized the commitment of Korea and Qatar to their regions’ development and the role of the ME Council, Korea Arab Society, and Jeju Peace Institute partnership as a reinforcer of the strength and growth of Korea-Qatar ties in the Asian century.
During the opening ceremony, ME Council, KAS, and JPI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to enhance cooperation in co-hosting the Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum from 2022 to 2024. The MoU also aims to improve means of cooperation and partnership in the fields of knowledge and research between Korea and the Middle East and between Korea and Qatar.