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Korea-Italy forum opens in Rome
Jun 24, 2004
The Korea Foundation and Italy`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are holding the first Korea-Italy Bilateral Forum on Thursday in Rome to mark 120 years of relations between the two countries and strengthen ties at the regional and international levels.
Korea`s 12 representatives at the forum include Korea Foundation President Kwon In-hyuk, Korean Amb. to Italy Song Young-oh and Federation of Korean Industries Secretary General Lee Kyu-hwang. Italy`s former Foreign Minister Gianni De Michelis, Vice President of the Senate of the Republic Lamberto Dini and Italian Amb. to Korea Francesco Rausi are also expected to take part.
In the three sessions at historic Villa Madama, forum participants are scheduled to discuss ways to promote cultural, scientific and technical exchanges between the two nations; how to improve economic and business cooperation; and the Italian role in the reconciliation process on the Korean Peninsula.
Undersecretary to the Prime Minister`s Office Gianni Letta and Italy`s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini are to deliver welcoming and closing speeches, respectively. After the forum, Korean opera singer Jo Sumi will give a congratulatory performance, followed by a reception to celebrate the 120th anniversary.
Despite the long diplomatic relationship, Italy - a member of the G8 and the European single currency region - has not witnessed active bilateral exchanges with Korea compared with other Western countries. Korea and Italy expect the forum to lay the groundwork for a permanent bilateral dialogue channel at the nongovernmental level. In addition, through the forum the two nations hope to establish a cooperative framework to promote development and enhance human resources exchanges.
The Korea Foundation, an agency affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, may hold similar forums to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as countries in Central and South America and the Middle East.
(email@example.com) By Kim Soo-yeon