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Uruguayan President confirms spirit of cooperation

Uruguayan President confirms spirit of cooperation in education and research

Future cooperation in agricultural education and research between Lincoln University and Uruguay was backed today (13 Nov.) with expressions of goodwill by Uruguayan President Dr Tabare Vazquez.

The President made a three-hour visit to Lincoln University - his only official South Island port of call, during a three day visit to New Zealand which began on Sunday.

This is the first visit by a Uruguayan President and it reciprocates one made to Uruguay six years ago by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Lincoln University has a long history of research and consultancy associations with Uruguay and these are seen as the basis for future developments.

At the Lincoln University Dairy Farm the President heard about the development of the nitrification inhibitor eco-n and in presentations on the campus he was told about research developments in gene marker technology for foot rot in sheep; trade policy matters and education and training. Representatives from AgResearch and PGG Wrightson also described their companies´ capabilities and areas of expertise.

After lunching on the campus the President then visited a bio-protection technologies research facility, the Biotron.

The President, a doctor and oncology specialist by profession, said medicine and politics shared three principles - "believing in people; working with people; and working for people".

The transition from doctor to politician was not as strange as many might think, he said, because "politics with a capital `P´ is really all about relationships".

Impressed with Lincoln University´s well established record of contributions to Uruguay´s agrarian economy and the future prospects in education and research outlined to him in the campus presentations, he assured Vice- Chancellor Professor Roger Field that the University had a "true friend" in Uruguay and he hoped they could work together to "improve the quality of life of our two countries".

Among officials accompanying the President on his Lincoln University visit was Uruguay´s Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Jose Mujica. He said Uruguay was a very small country and had to be selective in choosing its cooperative partners, but if external policy paved the way then Lincoln University and New Zealand would be selected, "no doubt about it".


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