UAE, Korean officials meet to enhance ties

South Korea's presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok shaking hands with Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, during a meeting in Seoul on Nov. 2, 2018. (Yonhap news agency)
Updated 03 November 2018
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UAE, Korean officials meet to enhance ties

  • A key agenda item was a return visit by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Seoul in the first quarter of 2019
  • The two sides also reviewed implementation of agreements reached by Moon and the crown prince

SEOUL: A high-ranking Emirati official on Friday met with a top secretary of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations.

Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, had a two-hour luncheon with Im Jong-seok, presidential chief of staff, at a hotel in Seoul. 

A key agenda item was a return visit by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Seoul in the first quarter of 2019, said South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

The two sides also reviewed implementation of agreements reached by Moon and the crown prince during the former’s visit to the UAE last March, Kim added.

“Im and Al-Mubarak shared the view that collaboration in the military and defense sectors has been reinforced further,” Kim said. 

“In addition, the two governments will cooperate to share information and knowhow when either of them enters a third market.”


US accuses Iran of destabilizing Mideast with missile program

Updated 20 March 2019
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US accuses Iran of destabilizing Mideast with missile program

  • Cites Iran’s support to the Houthi movement in Yemen and to Hezbollah in Lebanon
  • Says Iran's ballistic missile test and satellite launches violated UN Security Council resolution

JEDDAH: Iran’s missile program is destabilizing the Middle East, and Tehran risks starting a regional arms race by supplying weapons to armed groups in Lebanon and Yemen, a senior US arms control official said on Tuesday.

“Iran must immediately cease activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and halt the proliferation of missiles and missile technology to terror groups and other non-state actors,” Yleem Poblete, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, said in a speech to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Iran’s missile program is a key contributor to increased tensions and destabilization in the region, increasing the risk of a regional arms race,” she said, denouncing Iran’s support to the Houthi movement in Yemen and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

She said Iran had provided ballistic missiles to the Houthis that were fired into Saudi Arabia and unmanned aerial systems to Houthi groups that enable strikes against land-based targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “We are committed to aggressively countering Iran’s regional proliferation of ballistic missiles and its unlawful arms transfers,” she said.

US President Donald Trump said when he quit the 2015 deal that lifted international sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear activities that the agreement failed to rein in Iran’s missile program or curb its regional meddling.

The US has accused Iran of defying a UN Security Council resolution by carrying out a ballistic missile test and two satellite launches since December.

Poblete urged “all responsible countries” to enforce UN Security Council resolutions restricting the transfer of missile-related technologies to Iran. She also accused Iran of “pursuing pharmaceutical-based agents for offensive purposes,” but did not provide details.

Harvard scholar and Iranian affairs expert Dr. Majid Rafizadeh said Iran had the largest ballistic program in the Middle East. “Through its ballistic missile program, the Iranian regime appears determined to escalate tensions in the region and seek every opportunity to project its power in order to reassert its hegemony,” he said. “The international community ought to hold Tehran accountable for its military adventurism and violations of international standards.”