President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President of the Argentine Republic Alberto Fernández for 40 minutes from 9:00 a.m. today at the request of the Argentine President.
President Moon expressed sympathy for Argentina’s confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths and his wish for the country to overcome the outbreak at the earliest date possible.
In addition, President Moon expressed gratitude to the Argentine Government for having made exceptions to allow Korean businesspeople to enter the country despite the ongoing closure of its borders. He then said, “I ask for the President’s continued consideration and support to allow more entries going forward.”
President Fernández praised Korea for setting a global example by quickly and transparently responding to the COVID-19 outbreak from the outset. In addition, the President expressed his gratitude to the Korean Government for having shared its epidemic prevention experience with Argentina through a video conference and for its decision to provide protective equipment to his country on a humanitarian basis.
President Moon said, “Since the two countries have developed traditionally friendly relations that have forged a comprehensive cooperative partnership, the Korean Government intends to provide as many COVID-19 epidemic prevention supplies as feasible. I hope that they will prove helpful to Argentina overcoming the coronavirus.”
The two leaders gave high marks to their countries’ mutual efforts to promote economic cooperation and had in-depth discussions on relevant pending issues.
President Fernández called President Moon a friend and companion.
President Moon said, “Korea’s POSCO is doing its best to complete the construction of a lithium extraction demonstration plant – a pilot production facility – within the next one or two months.” In reply, President Fernández said that the lithium demonstration plant construction project is important and drawing significant attention from the Argentine Government. He added that they will provide support not only for the completion of the project but for production afterwards.
In addition, President Moon said, “The Korea-MERCOSUR trade agreement will serve as an opportunity for a significant leap in economic cooperation between the two countries, and I would like to ask for your attention and support so that the negotiations can be concluded as early as possible.” The Argentine President said the leaders of MERCOSUR had recently had a video call, adding that he would give attention to executing the agreement with Korea.
The two leaders also exchanged their views on the opening of Korea’s markets to agricultural and livestock products from Argentina, upon which the negotiations to allow imports are now underway between the two countries, as well as on the issue of expanding investments.
President Moon also asked for President Fernández’s continued consideration and support for the safety of Korean businesspeople and immigrants living in Argentina. In reply, President Fernández said Korean immigrants are living in harmony within Argentine society, respected and loved. He noted that they are among the highest level of professionals and living cohesively like brothers and sisters, promising his consideration and support for them.
President Moon held in high regard President Fernández’s proposal for a Comprehensive Global Solidarity Pact and a plan to create a Global Humanitarian Emergency Fund at the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit in March. President Moon emphasized that it is more important than ever to unite through mutual trust and inclusiveness and enhance the international community’s solidarity and cooperation since COVID-19 is not an issue limited to a single country. He added that Korea will continue to share its epidemic prevention and treatment experiences as well as clinical data with Argentina and the international community.
Moreover, President Moon stressed that Korea intends to actively and continuously take part in international efforts to develop vaccines and treatments, to seek healthcare-related development cooperation and to strengthen pandemic response capabilities. This is in line with the spirit of solidarity and cooperation that he had mentioned when addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly.