Tehran, Seoul to hold 1st humanitarian working group session

TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (MNA) – South Korea and Iran are set to hold the first working group session to develop mutual humanitarian trade via video conference on Tuesday.

As Yonhap reported, at Tuesday's session, the two sides plan to discuss priority items to be exported to Iran, trade procedures and how to operate the newly minted dialogue platform.

"Our government will continue smooth cooperation among relevant agencies and active consultations with Iran to support our enterprises seeking to enter the Iranian market for humanitarian items such as medicine and medical equipment," the South Korean foreign ministry announced in a press release.

South Korean officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, health, finance and industry, as well as from other related agencies, are set to attend the meeting. The Iranian side is expected to include health and food and drug administration officials, Yonhap reported.

Expanding humanitarian trade with Tehran is also expected to help the two countries settle the issue of Iran's assets -- known to be worth up to $7 billion -- frozen in two Korean bank accounts since last year due to Washington's tightened sanctions against Tehran.

Iran is struggling to return the funds frozen by foreign banks amid a shortage of hard currency in the country which has been contending with the coronavirus pandemic over the past months.

Following the first humanitarian shipment to Tehran in May under the US sanctions, Iran and South Korea held virtual talks on July 29 about expanding humanitarian trade like medicine exports.


News Code 162428


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