Swedish PM becomes honorary Seoul citizen

SEOUL-- The Seoul city government on Thursday awarded honorary citizenship to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, reflecting the city's bid to strengthen ties with the Scandinavian country.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon handed Lofven a certificate marking the honorary citizenship at a ceremony held at his office in Seoul City Hall, according to the metropolitan government.

"Giving a certificate of honorary citizenship to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a year that marks Korea and Sweden's 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations is very meaningful," Park said.

"Through Thursday's meeting, (I hope) it will open doors for exchanges between our city and Sweden (so that the two sides) will expand exchange and cooperation in various fields going forward," he added.

The two also held talks on areas of mutual interest, such as policies on the environment, climate change and smart cities, the city government said.

Taking account of Stockholm's established status as Europe's so-called green capital, the Seoul mayor also asked for advice on ways to handle environmental issues like fine dust.

Lofven, who came here on a three-day trip, met President Moon Jae-in on his first day in the South Korean capital where they discussed ways to reinforce partnerships on promoting peace on the Korean peninsula and dealing with the fourth industrial revolution.

The visit, scheduled to end Friday, marks Lofven's first trip to Seoul as prime minister. He visited the country in 2006 and 2013 while serving as an umbrella union leader and head of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, respectively.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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