14 April, 2006
Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon was received on Thursday by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Also present at the meeting was Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
Bakoyannis and Ban had earlier a separate meeting, after which the Greek minister said that "relations between Greece and Korea, as you are aware, both political and economic, are extremely good. We had the opportunity of discussing analytically, particularly our economic relations, possibilities being presented for their further improvement with the new economic developments that exist."
Bakoyannis further said that "we shall be in contact with the foreign minister. As you know, he is also a candidate for the post of secretary general of the UN. Greece has already declared itself in favor of an Asian candidacy because we believe that it is the time of Asia. From then on, the foreign minister has a strong candidacy."
She added that the President of the Republic will be receiving a visit by the President of the Republic of Korea in Greece between September 3-5 and discussions held on Thursday will have the opportunity of being continued.
Ban said on his part "I am particularly pleased to have the opportunity of appealing to distinguished Greek reporters during my second visit as foreign minister of Korea to your country."
He added that "foreign minister, Mrs. Bakoyannis, and I had the opportunity today of discussing at length the way with which the already excellent relations between our two countries can be enlarged and strengthened further."
The Korean minister further said that "we hope that with the exchange of senior officials, businessmen, contacts between artists, academics, students and with tourism, and with shipping as well, we shall be able to proceed in this direction.
Our trade relations are developing primarily in the sector of shipping and the sector of shipbuilding. However, we believe that the other sectors must also be developed."
Ban said that he wants the signing of the shipping agreement to be completed as soon as possible, adding that "we are ready to sign a cultural cooperation agreement. We also discussed our cooperation in international organizations, including the UN."
Lastly, the Korean minister said "I wish to thank the minister for her warm words in favor of an Asian candidacy, particularly for all the kind things she said about my candidacy."
Source: Athens News Agency