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FM Cho meets with Italian, Turkish foreign ministers on sidelines of NATO meeting

By Yonhap

Published : April 4, 2024 - 21:50

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Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (right) shakes hands with his Italian counterpart, Antonio Tajani, before their meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (right) shakes hands with his Italian counterpart, Antonio Tajani, before their meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul has met with his Italian and Turkish counterparts in Brussels to discuss bilateral cooperation and North Korean issues on the sidelines of a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) foreign ministers, his office said.

Cho held talks with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Wednesday (local time) and discussed ways to cooperate on Africa development and artificial intelligence (AI), key agendas for this year's summit of the Group of Seven (G7) countries, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Italy is serving as the rotating presidency of the G7 for this year, and the Korean government is reportedly in consultation with Italy over the potential participation in the G7 summit set for June in Apulia.

South Korea was not invited to a meeting of G7 foreign ministers to be held in mid-April. The G7 consists of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Separately, Cho also met with his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, Wednesday and discussed ways to deepen cooperation in trade, defense and other fields, according to the ministry.

Touching on North Korea, Cho called for close coordination with Italy and Turkey in resolving the North's nuclear and missile issue, highlighting that the North's illegal military cooperation with Russia poses a threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.

Cho departed for Belgium late Tuesday for a three-day trip to attend the NATO meeting. South Korea was invited to the ministerial meeting for the third year as one of the non-NATO partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

He told Yonhap News Agency in Brussels that "more discussions are needed" over the possibility of a trilateral summit between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan on the fringes of the NATO summit scheduled in July in Washington.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday invited the leaders of South Korea and three other nations in the Indo-Pacific region to the upcoming NATO summit.