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Iran-Afghanistan medical cooperation to expand further

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Tehran, May 4, IRNA – Head of Health, Remedy, Cure, and Medical Training Ministryˈs Food and Medicine Organizationˈs International Affairs Department said here Saturday Iran-Afghanistan bilateral cooperation in health, cure, food and medical cooperation will expand.

ˈA delegation headed by Afghanistanˈs Health Minister Ms. Najiyeh Tariq and inclusive of that ministryˈs Food and Medicine Control Department Dr. Kameleh Soltani visited the Iranian Health Ministryˈs Food and Medicine Control Laboratory,ˈ said Dr. Ali-Reza Hosseini.

He said that before visiting the source laboratories, the Afghan delegation met the managing director and deputies of the Food and Medicine Department and talked and exchanged ideas with them on bilateral cooperation.

Dr. Hosseini added that the Afghan delegation asked for more meetings with the Iranian officials so that they could reach agreements of effective cooperation in various fields, especially in food and medicine field.

ˈTransfer of experience in training and laboratory fields and on methods for quality control methods are among the cases in which the Afghan delegation is interested in joint cooperation with Iran.

The Managing Director of the Food and Medicine Department Dr. Hossein Rastegar, too, said that in the meeting with the Afghan delegation several issued were discussed, including contributing to the completion of Afghanistan Food and Medicine Control Laboratory and training the Afghan delegations, as the most important issues discussed.

ˈThe representatives of our countryˈs private sector, too, can if they wish establish branches of their laboratories in Afghanistan and operate there,ˈ said Dr. Rastegar.

The Health Ministry managing director added that using the capabilities of the medical universities of Iran in border regions with Afghanistan, such as those in Mashhad, Brjand, and Zahedan was among the demands of the Afghan delegation for bilateral cooperation.

Dr. Rastegar expressed hope that the two countries would in near future manage to have greater cooperation in the field of control and supervision and generally speaking on food and medicine security.

The Health Ministryˈs Food and Medicine Department official said that Iran and Afghanistan have signed memoranda of understanding in those fields, expressing hope that they will be implemented as soon as possible.

Since late 2001, the new Afghan government under Hamid Karzai has engaged in cordial relations with both Iran and the United States, even as relations between the United States and Iran have grown strained due to American objections to Iranˈs peaceful nuclear program.

Iran was a key factor in the overthrow of the Taliban and has since helped revive Afghanistanˈs economy and infrastructure. It re-opened the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and its associated consulates in other Afghan cities.

In the meantime, Iran joined the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Most of its contributions are aimed at developing the Afghanˈs ethnic Hazaras and Qizilbash communities.

Iran also has influence on political parties represented by ethnic Tajiks, which includes Abdullah Abdullahˈs Coalition for Change and Hope and others.