NATIONAL

Top UAE official’s visit raises speculations

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Jan 7, 2018 - 18:22
  • Updated : Jan 8, 2018 - 10:29
Speculations that Cheong Wa Dae will once again engage with the United Arab Emirates are rising ahead of visit by a top UAE official.

According to sources, Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak, chief of the UAE’s Organization & Administration Department, and the key figures in a South Korea-UAE nuclear power plant deal will arrive in Seoul on Monday.

Al-Mubarak’s visit comes about a month after President Moon Jae-in’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok was sent to the UAE as a special envoy. Im’s visit, the official purpose of which was to deliver a handwritten letter from Moon and to visit South Korean military units in the region, sparked off a range of speculations.

Im was sent to the UAE and Lebanon on Dec. 9 on a four-day visit. 


Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak (Wikimedia Commons)


A number of local media outlets reported that Im was dispatched to smooth over discord arising from the Moon administration’s nuclear power policies, while others claimed Im was tasked with delving into alleged wrongdoings by the Lee Myung-bak administration. Other speculations raised by the media include that Im met with UAE leaders to discuss issues surrounding military cooperation allegedly promised by Seoul’s previous administrations. The current administration has denied all speculations.

While Cheong Wa Dae declined to comment or confirm any speculations about al-Mubarak’s visit, pundits say that he could once again meet with Im during his visit.

It has also been speculated that al-Mubarak may also meet with Moon to discuss a range of issues concerning South Korea-UAE relations, including the South Korean president’s possible visit to the UAE.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)


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