President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic, at the request of the French President, for one hour from 6:30 p.m. today.
The two Presidents agreed to make efforts for the development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as agreed upon at the G20 Summit among the leaders of member states. They also concurred that the two countries will expand cooperation on vaccination in the same manner that they have closely worked together in the process of fighting COVID-19.
President Macron said that he was impressed by Korea’s successful response to COVID-19. He added that he is looking forward to the fruition of Korea’s development of COVID-19 treatments, which have made significant headway.
President Moon replied, “I am pleased with the fact that bilateral healthcare cooperation has continued since we spoke by phone in March about how to overcome COVID-19. He went on to say, “I hope that collaboration between our two countries to develop COVID-19 treatments will achieve the desired results and that the forthcoming treatments will contribute to the COVID-19 response not only in Korea but also across the world.”
Currently, the Institut Pasteur Korea and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal are working together on clinical trials of treatments with the help of France.
The two leaders also agreed to continue cooperation on climate change and other environmental issues.
President Moon explained that the Korean New Deal is being implemented for a sustainable green economic recovery and that he recently announced Korea’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 to join the global response to climate change. He also underscored that Korea will actively cooperate with the international community to carry out the Paris Agreement by – among other measures – devising Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) within this year for U.N. consideration. President Moon then called on France, a leading nation in terms of climate change response, to participate and take interest in the P4G Summit to be hosted by the Korean Government next year.
Addressing President Moon’s declared goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, President Macron said that he would like to support the relevant countermeasures and various activities. The President added that he would also actively participate in the P4G Summit. He went on to say that he hopes to visit Korea and further discuss how to deepen the ties of bilateral cooperation with President Moon.
In response, President Moon expressed his appreciation for President Macron unveiling his intention to visit Korea and said, “I am looking forward to our two countries overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic wisely, so we will be able to meet in Seoul next year.”
In regard to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, President Moon also said he will continue his efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish peace through active cooperation with the new U.S. Administration of President Joe Biden. In response, President Macron expressed his support for stability on the Peninsula.
The two Presidents noted that bilateral cooperation has been continuing in various fields despite the pandemic and agreed to work to deepen substantive cooperation between the two countries in such fields as investment, energy, science and technology.
President Moon expressed condolences over the killing of a history teacher in Paris and the terrorist attack on the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice in October, as well as solidarity with the French Government’s strong response to violent extremism. In reply, President Macron thanked President Moon for showing sympathy and solidarity, saying that President Moon shared a united commitment against the undermining of freedom in democratic societies.