On 8 December 2020, the fifth political consultations were held online between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) co-chaired by Ambassador Ilgvars Kļava, Head of the Bilateral Relations Directorate at the Latvian Foreign Ministry, and the Director-General for European Affairs at the Foreign Ministry of South Korea, Kim Pil-woo. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry was represented by the Acting Director of the Latin America, Africa, Asia and Pacific Department, Ramūnas Davidonis, and the Estonian Foreign Ministry, by the Director of the Asia and Pacific Region Division, Celia Kuningas-Saagpakk.
The officials discussed developments in Asia and Europe, cooperation in addressing global issues and bilateral relations between the Baltic States and South Korea. Participants at the consultations took stock of cooperation between the Baltic States and South Korea until now and prospects for future contacts in business, ICT, artificial intelligence, science, education, and tourism. With a view to strengthening cooperation, the second meeting of the Baltic States-South Korea Joint Committee on Economy has been planned in Riga next year.
In addition to successful bilateral cooperation with each of the three Baltic States, South Korean diplomats made note of their good relations also in international formats.
During the meeting, the officials also discussed recent regional and global events, with a special focus on developments in Belarus and Russia, and the impact of the outcomes of the U.S. presidential elections on bilateral and multilateral cooperation and addressing the issues of global relevance, for instance, climate change. The growing influence of China was underlined, and the need for closer cooperation between the European Union, the United States of America and the countries in Asia and the Pacific. The diplomats also highlighted challenges caused by disinformation and propaganda, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants agreed on organizing joint events in 2021 to mark the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Baltic States and South Korea.
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