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Korea-Iraq Peace Project Launched

Seoul (AsiaNews) -- South Korea and Iraq will cooperate in training Iraqi medical personnel from the south-eastern part of the Middle Eastern country.

The announcement was made by the Asian Conference for Reconciliation and Peace and the Korean Conference for Reconciliation and Peace at the opening of a workshop in Seoul to promote South Korean-Iraqi religious cooperation entitled 'Korea's role in cooperative undertaking to construct peace in Iraq'.

Religious leaders from both countries participated in the event; among them Mgr Hyginus Kim, president of the Committee for Promoting Christian Unity and Inter-religious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and high ranking Iraqi religious leaders, including Sunni and Shiite leaders as well as the Chaldean Patriarch.

Kim Hoe-jung, professor at Seoul National University's Medical College, said that four important hospitals in Korea will cooperate in the project.

The project itself entails training 16 Iraqi medical teams--including medical specialists, Ph. D. and other medical students--in Korea who will then be able to apply new methods and techniques back home.

"The goal is that they [the medical teams] can take on in their own country the [. . .] responsibility of training medical people for their own people," Professor Kim said.

As part of the project, Iraqi patients would also receive medical care in the four participating Korean hospitals.

In welcoming Iraqi religious leaders in Seoul, Mgr Hyginus Kim said the meeting was a "blessing from God and the fruit of the efforts made [to reach a] peaceful future for humanity".

"I hope that this occasion may become a new horizon for inter-religious collaboration between Asia and Middle East."


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