South Korea and states in the Middle East and Africa are meeting to prepare for the launch of a new organization aimed at seeking closer ties.
South Korea and governments, corporations and organizations from 22 governments or authorities met Monday at a conference in Seoul aimed at establishing the Korea-Arab Society.
Attending the opening ceremony of the conference was President Omar el-Bashir of Sudan. Among other members of the group are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, Somalia, Syria and Mauritania.
South Korea says that the move to form the group resulted from an agreement to "expand and intensify" existing areas of cooperation.
Resource-poor South Korea is heavily dependent on oil imports and has been intensifying what it calls energy diplomacy.
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