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Lee notes Balkenende's role in S. Korea-Netherlands ties

SEOUL, Aug. 28 — South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Friday appreciated efforts by the outgoing Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, for improving the two countries' relations, according to Lee's office, Cheong Wa Dae.

Balkenende telephoned Lee to bid farewell as he retires, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung said.

"President Lee thanked him for his role in improving bilateral ties since he took office in 2002," Kim said.

Balkenende replied he would do his best in helping South Korea and the Netherlands further develop friendly relations even after his retirement, she said.

The Dutch leader visited South Korea in April. The Netherlands is one of the largest investors in South Korea. (PNA/Yonhap) scs/rsm

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