Andrews concludes agreement in Iran and gets assurances about beef trade
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews T.D. visited Tehran from
26 -28 January for a meeting of the Third Joint Commission for Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Ireland and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In the course of his visit, the Minister had separate meetings with President Khatami and Former President Rafsanjani. He also had meetings with the Foreign Minister, Dr. Kharrazi, the Minister for Construction Crusade (Jihad), Mr Saidi Kia, and the Minister for Commerce, Mr Shariat Madari.
The Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Iranian Government dealing with future cooperation in the areas of Economic and Trade Relations, Investment, Energy, Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Science, Research and Education, Tourism, Air transport, Posts and Telecommunications and Pharmaceuticals. Both sides agreed that there was potential and scope for expansion and diversification in the field of economic and trade relations.
Minister Andrews pressed Iranian Ministers very hard on the issue of Irish beef exports to Iran. He was informed by the Minister for the Jihad that, following the negotiations last October between Irish and Iranian veterinary experts which led to the lifting of BSE related restrictions on trade, there was nothing to prevent the resumption of trade.
Minister Andrews said he was most anxious that the agreement reached in Dublin last October by the Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh T.D., would translate into actual exports of Irish beef within the shortest possible time.
The Minister also took the opportunity of his visit to meet with representatives of Irish meat exporters and to brief them fully on his discussion with Iranian Ministers. The Iranian authorities confirmed to the Minister that the market demand in the coming financial year (beginning 21 March) will be approximately 20,000 tonnes. They said they would be positively disposed towards some or all of this being supplied by Ireland.
In his meeting with President Khatami the President made clear to the Minister his desire to begin “a new era of relations with the rest of the world”.