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Minister Coughlan meets Saudi Arabian Ministers

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., met this week with HE Dr. Hashim Abdullah Yamani, Minister for Commerce and Industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who was accompanied by Dr. Khailid Al-Sulaiman, Deputy Minister for Industrial Affairs, and Dr. Hassan Fdhol A Keel, Deputy Minister for Internal Trade. The Saudi delegation are in Ireland from 26th to 29th June on a programme organised by International Development Ireland to look at economic development issues.

The Minister was pleased to renew her acquaintance with Dr Yamani whom she had met during the Taoiseach's visit to Saudi Arabia in January this year. Minister Coughlan said the two Ministers had discussed the issue of opening the Saudi market for Irish beef, as well as the opportunities for trade in food in general. The meeting provided a useful follow-up to the visit last week by a technical team from Saudi Arabia that examined food safety controls in relation to the possible re-opening of the Saudi market to Irish beef.

The Ministers explored areas of mutual co-operation and Minister Coughlan indicated her Department's willingness to provide whatever technical assistance it could in the agricultural and fisheries areas that would be of benefit to Saudi Arabia.

29 June 2007

Date Released: 29 June 2007