South Korea and Qatar sign MOU to enhance defence cooperation

South Korea and Qatar have signed a preliminary deal to boost bilateral defence collaboration, emphasizing efforts to increase arms exports to the Middle East, officials announced.

Officials announced on Wednesday that South Korea and Qatar have inked a preliminary deal to enhance bilateral defence collaboration, aligning with Seoul’s efforts to increase arms exports to the Middle East. Defense Minister Shin Won-sik signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) during talks with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, who also serves as the minister of state for defence, in Doha on Tuesday. The MOU signifies a commitment to bolstering defence ties between the two nations and sets the stage for further cooperation in the realm of defence and security.

As per the agreement, the defence ministers of both countries will engage in regular discussions to lay a strong groundwork for defence collaboration. They have also committed to broadening exchanges and joint training among defence-related institutions and enhancing cooperation in diverse areas, including defence science and technology.

The agreement also entails bolstering collaboration across various defence sectors, including increasing exchanges between their defence institutes and expanding joint drills. Earlier, Shin made a courtesy call on Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, affirming the commitment to enhance defence ties, particularly on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations this year.

Shin’s visit follows President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to Qatar last October, during which the nations agreed to elevate their relations to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” Additionally, Shin attended South Korea’s football match against Jordan in the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup semifinals in Qatar, at the emir’s invitation, despite South Korea’s 2-0 loss.

This trip concludes Shin’s three-nation Middle East tour, which also included visits to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.