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(LEAD) Yoon meets with leaders of Argentina, Turkey, Bangladesh, MIKTA

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol held a series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of Argentina, Turkey and Bangladesh on Saturday as he sought to expand cooperation and win support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan.

Yoon also met with the other leaders of MIKTA, a grouping of middle powers comprising Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) summit in New Delhi.

In his meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, the two leaders agreed to explore the possibility of joint lithium battery production in the South American nation, as they expressed their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation in various areas, including trade, investment, supply chains and climate change, Yoon's office said in a press release.

Fernandez noted the high potential for cooperation in new and renewable energy, and critical mineral supply chains, saying he hopes to see enhanced cooperation in future industries.

"In particular, President Fernandez said Argentina possesses an abundant amount of quality lithium and that he hopes such lithium mining will link with South Korea to lead to local battery production," the presidential office said. "President Yoon said they should jointly consider the issue of local lithium battery production."

Yoon met separately with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and expressed his hope to expand bilateral trade in a mutually beneficial manner as the two countries mark the 10th anniversary this year since their bilateral free trade agreement went into effect.

Erdogan thanked the South Korean government and people for sending aid following the massive earthquake in Turkey in February, and called for expanding their cooperation in the defense industry to drones, cargo planes and armored vehicles.

Yoon and Erdogan agreed to continue discussions on allowing South Korean businesses to participate in a nuclear power plant construction project currently under review in Turkey.

Also, Yoon held a bilateral meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and pledged to provide additional assistance in the construction of infrastructure in the South Asian nation.

In all of his bilateral meetings, Yoon asked for the support of his interlocutors for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in its southeastern city of Busan.

Meanwhile, the MIKTA leaders' meeting produced a joint press statement expressing "deep concerns" on what it said was an increasingly challenging global strategic environment caused in part by climate change, rising food security and the war in Ukraine.

The gathering was held on the 10th anniversary of MIKTA's establishment.

Among other things, the joint statement also said the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law and strengthening the multilateral system, with the United Nations at its core, and resolved to strengthen their joint actions on global issues where they have shared interests.

Source: Yonhap News Agency