Minister Cowen meets Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. today extended a warm welcome to His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, on the occasion of his two day official visit to Ireland.
Minister Cowen and the Prime Minister discussed regional political developments, with particular reference to the situation in Iraq, and the continuing efforts to restore impetus to the Middle East Peace Process. Minister Cowen also briefed the Prime Minister on Ireland's plans for the forthcoming EU Presidency.
Speaking after their meeting at Iveagh House, the Minister said,
“Ireland and Bahrain have always maintained very friendly relations. The Irish Government deeply values this relationship and views Bahrain as an important partner in the Gulf region across a range of areas.
Enormous potential exists for greater trade cooperation between our two countries particularly in IT, telecommunications, healthcare, in financial and education services and in air transport. Work has already commenced on a draft air transport agreement which will provide for greater aviation links and greatly enhance trade opportunities in the future.”
The Minister said he particularly welcomed the decision by Bahrain in the early summer to relax the restrictions on the sales of Irish beef, stating that he hoped that other Gulf States would follow Bahrain's example.