The Republic of Korea (RoK) and five nations in the Mekong region held the first-ever ministerial meeting in Seoul on Oct. 28.

The meeting was co-chaired by RoK Foreign Minister (FM) Kim Sung-hwan and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and FM Hor Namhong. The meeting also saw the attendance of Vietnamese FM Pham Binh Minh, Lao Deputy PM and FM Thonglouan Sisouthlith, Thai FM Surapong Tovichakchiakul and Myanmar Deputy FM Myo Myint.

The meeting was designed to set up a new cooperation mechanism between the RoK and the Mekong region, focusing on economic cooperation and development, political cooperation and the working mechanism of Mekong-RoK cooperation.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese FM Pham Binh Minh reiterated Vietnam ’s support for the Mekong-RoK cooperation, expressing his belief that the new cooperation mechanism would contribute to consolidating the fine relationship between the nations.

He also affirmed that Vietnam will take an active part and work closely with the member countries in implementing activities within the Mekong-RoK cooperation framework.

The meeting endorsed the Han River Statement on the establishment of the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Mekong countries and RoK for Common Wealth,” which set out future cooperation visions and orientations for the concerned countries.

The ministers also agreed to give priority to three cooperative areas, including ASEAN connectivity, sustainable development and development for people.

They also agreed to organise the annual Mekong-RoK ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and in the RoK every three years. The second Mekong-RoK Ministerial Meeting will be held in Cambodia next year.

The same day, FM Pham Binh Minh and the heads of delegation paid a courtesy visit to RoK President Lee Myung-bak.

On the sidelines of the meeting, FM Minh also met with his RoK counterpart Kim Sung-hwan./.