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Establishment of Embassy in the German Democratic Republic



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N E W S R E L E A S E

N Q D A T E

31 August 1974

ESTABLISHMENT OF EMBASSY IN THE GERMaN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

The Foreign Minister, Senator Don Willesee, announced today the Government’s intention to establish a resident Embassy to the German Democratic Republic early in 19.75.

He said that relations between Australia and the German Democratic Republic had developed steadily since Australia had accorded recognition in.December. 1972, The GDR had established an Embassy in.Canberra in May 1973. Australia

appointed a non-resident Ambassador to the GDR, Mr Francis · Stuart , in -June 1973. · Mr Stuart is"· resident in Warsaw and visits the GDR from time' .tpv· : id$ie>> . ' - ‘ J » ' * · V ■

Senator Wille.see noted that trade relations had also been progressing well. A Trade Agreement .was signed in February of this year providing for the exchange of most favoured nation treatment and the encouragement of industrial and

technical co-operation. The Minister believed that trade between the two countries, which was valued at about $17 million both ways in 1972/73, was largely undeveloped, given the status of

both countries as major trading nations. He hoped that in the near future a considerable expansion would take place.

The prospects for technological co-operation were also encouraging. Last July, during a visit by the Victorian Premier, Mr Hamer, to the GDR, arrangements were made for GDR assistance in the mining and processing of brown coal deposits

in Australia. GDR technology in this field was amongst the most advanced in the world.

The Minister referred to recent GDR successes in international sporting events and said that the GDR Government had already expressed interest in arranging for further contacts in this field. There were good prospects also in the cultural area, particularly in music.

The Minister added that co-operation in these areas could help break down the barriers which now existed through differences in our political and social systems. He hoped that the establishment of a resident Embassy would further the links between the two countries to our mutual advantage. .