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McCully heads to Iran

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/05/2016

From Iran, Mr McCully will head to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit. © Reuters From Iran, Mr McCully will head to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit. Foreign Minister Murray McCully is heading to Iran this weekend as New Zealand continues to rebuild its relationship with the once blacklisted Middle East state.

Mr McCully will hold talks with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who visited New Zealand earlier this year, and other members of Iran's government.

"Our discussions will cover a range of Middle East regional security issues and trade and economic relations between our two countries," Mr McCully said ahead of the trip.

While in the capital Tehran, Mr McCully will announce the reinstatement of formal talks between New Zealand and Iran, known as the Political and Economic Cooperation Commission.

Mr McCully will also sign an agricultural cooperation agreement, which will support exchanges between farmers and producers.

New Zealand is looking to reboot its trade relationship with Iran following the landmark nuclear deal brokered last year and the lifting of United Nations sanctions, which New Zealand formalised in February.

At one point prior to sanctions being imposed in 2006, Iran was New Zealand's fifth largest trading partner.

From Iran, Mr McCully will head to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit.

"The summit is a chance for the international community to discuss our collective response to armed conflict and natural disasters. We will be particularly focused on highlighting the specific humanitarian needs of the Pacific region," he said.

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