President Moon Jae-in made a rare visit to South Korean troops stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Tuesday and praised them as a symbol of the ever closer relationship between the two countries.
ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 27th Mar, 2018 ) :President Moon Jae-in made a rare visit to South Korean troops stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Tuesday and praised them as a symbol of the ever closer relationship between the two countries. "The Akh unit is the pride of the Republic of Korea military and a symbol of cooperation between South Korea and the UAE," the president said. The visit came two days after Moon and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan agreed to upgrade ties from the current "strategic partnership" to a "special strategic partnership," the highest level of diplomatic ties that South Korea has with an middle Eastern country.
"Crown Prince Mohammed also highly evaluated the Akh unit as a cornerstone that helped upgrade the countries' cooperation," Moon said. The South Korean president arrived here Saturday for a four-day official visit. The 138-strong Akh unit has been stationed here since January 2011 to help train UAE troops and protect Korean residents in case of an armed conflict. Moon insisted that the unit and its service members are greatly contributing to national security though they are overseas.
"The objective of our military, regardless to say, is to ensure security. And to us, security means not only maintaining peace but also making peace, and supporting the country's prosperity," the president said. "To this end, we must build a strong military, a military that is trusted by the people in the nation and that works overseas to secure the support of the international community. In that sense, the Akh unit is playing a great role for the defense and security of the Republic of Korea, both inside and outside of the country," he added.
Moon's visit to the unit partly confirmed Seoul's continued commitment to the military training program, his office Cheong Wa Dae noted. "President Moon's visit to the Akh unit, which is a symbol of defense cooperation between South Korea and the UAE and an example of mutual cooperation, marked a chance to reaffirm the countries' strong defense cooperation," Moon's office said. "The Akh unit is becoming a new example of defense cooperation as it is the first contingent to be deployed in a non-conflict area," Moon told the troops.
"The UAE is our country's closest friend in the Middle East. You are contributing greatly to improving the UAE military's special combat capabilities and making it an elite force. Because of the Akh unit, the two countries have become 'special strategic partners' and brother nations," the president added. While meeting South Korean residents in Abu Dhabi on Monday, he said the two countries will become true brothers that look into the next 100 years, just as the name of the 'Akh' unit means.
After having lunch with the South Korean troops, the president said he had one direct order for the troops. "You are all very precious daughters and sons of the Republic of Korea. Also, you must be a spouse or parent to someone. I order you to complete your mission as a member of the unit and safely return to the arms of your families and nation," he said. More than 1,700 South Korean soldiers have served in the Akh unit so far. Moon is set to visit Dubai later in the day to meet Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, before returning home.