Good neighbourly relations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol held talks described as milestones in the two countries’ strained relations. The leaders agreed to resume regular visits, Japan agreed to lift restrictions on exports of semiconductor materials, and South Korea withdrew its complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Korean leader also gave up some compensation for the injustices and slave labour of his compatriots from the time Korea was under Japanese occupation from 1910 until the end of World War II.
Before starting the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, the Portuguese and Spanish authorities strengthened bilateral relations at a meeting. A key topic of discussion was energy and the EU’s extension of the so-called Iberian Mechanism to reduce the price of gas used to produce electricity. Meanwhile, Bulgaria and Romania signed a cooperation agreement concerning the war in Ukraine. The talks covered, among other issues, regional security, aid to Moldova, energy, transport, the economy and the two countries accession to the Schengen area.
Iraq and Iran have signed a border security agreement. It is intended to ensure that the border with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq is tightened so that armed groups there do not attack Iranian territory. This Kurdish region is home to camps and bases of several Iranian Kurdish factions, which Iran considers to be terrorist groups. For more information on the situation of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, see this episode of the Outriders podcast.