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Visit to Australia by Iranian agriculture minister, Dr Issa Kalantari



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No. MT5 9 Date: 19 AUGUST 19 91

VTSIT TO AUSTRALIA BY IRANIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER. DR ISSA KALANTARI.

The Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Neal Blewett, today announced a ten-day visit by the Iranian Agricultural Minister, Dr Issa Kalantari.

Dr Kalantari is visiting Australia as a guest of the Government, following an invitation by the then Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Mr Kerin, during a visit to Iran in 1988.

Dr Kalantari arrives tomorrow and will visit Canberra, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.

"Dr Kalantari will join me in co-chairing the fourth meeting of the Australia-Iran Joint Ministerial Commission, just twelve months after my own visit to Tehran in August 1990 when we co-chaired the first meeting of the Commission since the Iranian revolution," said Dr Blewett.

Dr Kalantari will be accompanied by a delegation of forty-five Iranian public and private sector representatives who will use the visit to conduct talks with their Australian counterparts at the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) and through separate meetings. Eighty Australian business representatives and government officials will attend the JMC. ·

"The level of representation on both the Iranian and Australian delegations indicates the importance of our bilateral commercial relationship and its potential for development," Dr Blewett said.

"As Agriculture Minister, Dr Kalantari has a key role in the redevelopment of an Iranian economy still attempting to recover from the ravages of eight years of war with Iraq. The talks which he and the members of his delegation will have in Australia will help to identify further areas for expansion of this relationship."

Iran is now Australia's largest export market in the Middle East with 1990-91 exports totalling $614 million. Export items include wheat, barley, iron and steel ingots, meat, textile, yarn and vegetables.

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