President Moon Jae-in, on an official visit to Italy, held a summit with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte following his meeting with President Sergio Mattarella.
Ahead of the summit, an official welcoming ceremony was held at the courtyard of the Prime Minister’s palace. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his military aide welcomed President Moon. Following the honor guard review, the two leaders headed to the summit venue.
Today’s meeting was their first summit. They had extensive discussions on measures to develop bilateral relations.
The two leaders agreed to upgrade Korea-Italy ties to a strategic partnership. They also engaged in in-depth discussions on how to promote substantive cooperation in political affairs and national defense; the advancement of trade, investment and science and technology for joint responses to the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and the enhancement of mutual understanding through cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
President Moon and Prime Minister Conte noted that the Agreement between Korea and Italy on Aviation and the Agreement between Korea and Italy on Defense Cooperation, which were signed on the occasion of President Moon's official visit to Rome this time, would serve as an institutional groundwork for the advancement of substantive bilateral cooperation. The two leaders agreed to establish a vice-minister level Korea-Italy strategic dialogue and a strategic meeting for industrial energy cooperation with the first sessions occurring next year.
In particular, the two leaders noted that the number of Korean tourists to Italy this year is expected to surpass one million this year and that bilateral exchanges and cooperation have expanded in culture, education and tourism. A prime example is the opening of a Window on Korea (a Korean Government-backed archive of national culture and history) in the Sapienza University of Rome library. Notably, they also conversed about Hanji, traditional Korean mulberry paper.
Hanji is being used to restore Italian cultural artifacts made of paper. It has been used on eight such artifacts to date, including the Chartula of St. Francis of Assisi, the Rossano Gospels, and a collection of University of Catania diplomas in Sicily.
In particular, President Moon explained about recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the results of inter-Korean summits. The President also asked for the Italian Government’s continued cooperation and support for the Korean Government’s efforts to denuclearize and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Prime Minister Conte praised the Korean Government’s lead in efforts to bring positive changes to the Korean Peninsula recently, expressing his unwavering support for its policy toward the North.