Koenders to visit Iran and Lebanon

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders will visit Iran on Sunday and Monday (20 to 21 September). It will be the first time in 14 years that a Dutch foreign minister visits Iran. On Monday evening the minister will travel on to Lebanon, where he will visit a refugee camp.

Mr Koenders believes the agreement reached in June on Iran’s nuclear programme presents new opportunities for strengthening the political, economic and trade relations between the two countries. In the capital city Tehran the minister will meet Iranian president Hassan Rohani and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Mr Koenders will speak to them about developments in the region, domestic policy, the nuclear agreement and the gradual alleviation of sanctions that could follow. Trade relations between the Netherlands and Iran will also be discussed

‘The aim of this visit is to give a new impetus to bilateral relations with Iran. Closer ties will provide more opportunities for constructive talks between our two countries on issues including Iran’s role in the region and the human rights situation,’ the minister said.

After his visit to Iran, Mr Koenders will continue to Lebanon. In the capital city Beirut he will meet with his counterpart Gebran Bassil. The visit will focus on the refugee problem. On Tuesday the minister will visit a UNCHR refugee camp. Lebanon, with 4 million inhabitants, is hosting over 1.2 million refugees, mostly from neighbouring Syria.

Ministry responsible