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Australia to establish consulate in Uruguay

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MT 49


Australia will establish a Consulate in Uruguay to improve contact between the two countries, the Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Neal Blewett, said today.

Speaking at the end of his official visit to Uruguay, Dr Blewett said that the Consulate, to be set up in Montevideo, would be staffed by an Honorary Consul. It would provide a focal point for ongoing contacts between Australia and Uruguay.

In view of the proximity of Buenos Aires to Montevideo, however, immigration issues will continue to be handled directly by the Embassy in Argentina. The name of the first Honorary Consul will be announced shortly.

"It has become obvious during my discussions in Montevideo that there is scope to build on the existing contacts between Uruguay and Australia," he said.

Dr Blewett expressed appreciation for Uruguay’s co-operation on Antarctic matters. He also welcomed its strong support for the Cairns Group’s efforts to achieve fundamental reform of the international agricultural trading system from the Uruguay Round negotiations.

"I have been impressed with Uruguay's open economy and the many interests we share as producers and exporters of primary products. Despite the distance between us, I believe we can maintain and expand a healthy bilateral relationship," he said.

Dr Blewett arrived in Uruguay on 14 July and met President Lacalle, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Hector Gros Espiell, the Minister for the Economy, Mr Enrique Braga, and the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Alvaro Ramos.

Dr Blewett's visit followed a meeting of Cairns Group Ministers in Manaus, Brazil, on 8 and 9 July and Ministerial consultations in Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.

Montevideo 15 July 1991