Today alone, President Moon Jae-in will hold telephone conversations with three state leaders by the end of the day in a bid to support Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee, who has advanced to the final round in the election for the World Trade Organization’s next Director-General.
The President already spoke by phone with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from 5:30 p.m. and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of the Italian Republic from 6:00 p.m. consecutively. He is also scheduled to speak with President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt at 10:00 p.m. today.
In his phone calls with the Prime Ministers of Luxembourg and Italy, President Moon expressed his gratitude for the European Union’s united support for the Korean candidate in the first and second rounds. He emphasized that “A candidate with the ability to restore confidence in multilateral trade and safeguard the free trade system through reform of the WTO should be elected as its next Director-General.”
The President then called on Luxembourg and Italy for support by saying, “Korea’s Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee has broad backing from across all continents and is the most qualified candidate to successfully carry out reform of the WTO.”
In response, Prime Minister Bettel and Prime Minister Conte congratulated President Moon on Minister Yoo’s having advanced into the final round and wished her continued success, noting her outstanding capabilities, vision for WTO reform and extensive experience in the trade sector.
President Moon expressed concerns over the recent resurgence of COVID-19 and underscored, “The international community’s solidarity and cooperation are of paramount importance for overcoming COVID-19, especially for the development and fair distribution of treatments and vaccines.”
In reply, both Prime Ministers praised the Korean Government’s exemplary responses to COVID-19 to date.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bettel of Luxembourg said that after Brexit, his country is becoming a center of global trade and finance, and that he looks forward to strengthening relevant cooperation with Korea. President Moon expressed his agreement.
As Italy is scheduled to take on the G20 chairmanship next year, Prime Minister Conte asked for Korea’s active interest and participation in the successful execution of its role. President Moon welcomed Italy assuming the G20 chairmanship next year. The President went on to say he looked forward to the G20 system playing an important role in helping strengthen international solidarity and cooperation under Prime Minister Conte’s leadership.
Today’s 30-minute phone calls with the Luxembourg and Italian Prime Ministers and the scheduled call with the Egyptian President are expected to expand support for Minister Yoo.