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S. Korea, Israel agree to continue efforts for early conclusion of FTA talks

2018/11/09 18:14

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SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Israel agreed Friday to continue efforts for the early conclusion of their negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) during working-level diplomatic talks, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Hong Jin-wook, director general of the African and Middle Eastern affairs bureau at Seoul's foreign ministry, held a policy consultation meeting with his counterpart, Gilad Cohen, in Seoul on a range of issues, including business cooperation and security on the peninsula.

"With the shared recognition that the South Korea-Israel FTA will serve as an opportunity to establish an institutional foundation to expand and deepen bilateral economic cooperation, the two sides agreed to continue efforts for the early conclusion of the negotiations," the ministry said in a press release.

The two countries held six rounds of FTA talks between June 2016 and March this year.

Two-way trade volume between them reached US$2.4 billion last year.

During the talks, the two sides also exchanged views on the security situation both in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula. Israel expressed support for Seoul's efforts for denuclearization and a lasting peace on the peninsula, the ministry said.