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(LEAD) Prime minister to visit Kenya, Tanzania, Oman later this month

2018/07/12 17:56

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(ATTN: UPDATES with PM to use presidential jet)

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon will make a weeklong visit to Kenya, Tanzania and Oman later this month to bolster economic and other cooperation with the countries, his office said Thursday.

The July 19-21 visit to Kenya includes talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta about increasing trade and investment between the two countries, such as ways for South Korean companies to expand to the African nation in infrastructure, energy and other areas.

Lee also plans to attend a Korea-Kenya business forum; visit the Kenya office of the Korea Program on International Agriculture, an assistance project run by the state-run Rural Development Administration; and attend a ceremony to deliver World Food Program aid to the country.

Lee will then head to Tanzania for a three-day visit that will make him the first leader-level South Korean official to visit the African nation in 26 years since the two countries forged diplomatic relations in 1992.

The trip includes a courtesy call on President John Magufuli, talks with Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, a visit to the site of South Korea's official development assistance (ODA) program in the country and a forum of business leaders of the two countries.

The talks with Majaliwa will focus on how to carry out ODA projects successfully and expand South Korean companies' presence in the African nation. The two sides also plan to sign a visa-waiver treaty for official and diplomatic passport holders, officials said.

After Tanzania, Lee will visit Oman on July 23-25 for talks with the country's deputy prime minister for international relations about expanding economic cooperation between the two countries beyond traditional areas such as energy and infrastructure to new areas such as information and communications technology, smart cities, healthcare and the defense industry.

Officials said Lee will use the presidential jet for the upcoming trip. It would be the first time that the prime minister has used Air Force One on a long trip, though late former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil used the presidential jet for a trip to neighboring Japan.

President Moon Jae-in has suggested Lee using his jet, officials said.

jschang@yna.co.kr

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