France eyes extra trade links with South Korea

6th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 6 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac held talks with his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun in Paris Monday and expressed the hope that his visit would give a "new impetus" to bilateral relations, Chirac's office said.

PARIS, Dec 6 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac held talks with his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun in Paris Monday and expressed the hope that his visit would give a "new impetus" to bilateral relations, Chirac's office said.

Chirac also expressed support for Seoul's policy of trying to resolve the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme by dialogue, a spokesman said. "France is at your side," Chirac was quoted as saying.

The two men lunched at the Elysee palace with their wives. Members of Chirac's government as well as business leaders from both countries also attended.

Their meeting was "a chance to give a new impetus to our bilateral relationship, to which I am personally very attached," Chirac told Roh in an address at the lunch.

South Korea is France's third largest commercial partner in Asia, and Chirac said he would like to see economic links extend into "the sectors of the future, such as information technology, transport, the pharmaceutical industry and energy."

The only point of contention was South Korea's support for Japan's bid for the experimental nuclear fusion reactor ITER, the spokesman said. France, with the backing of the EU, wants the reactor established at Cadarache, in southern France.

Roh, who is on the last leg of a European tour that has taken him to Poland and Britain, was to meet Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin over dinner.

On Tuesday he was to visit the business federation Medef, and be received at the National Assembly.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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