The Irish agricultural minister, Joe Walsh, has revealed that a recent meeting with Egyptian prime minister and minister of agriculture, Dr Wali, had been positive, and that he is confident that beef trade between the countries will shortly be resumed.

Egypt announced the cessation of Irish and EU imports last week due to fears of BSE contamination, but Walsh believes this decision will be swiftly reversed for Irish beef exports once Egyptian veterinary authorities have completed their tests of Irish cattle. The trade with Egypt is annually worth GB£200m to Irish beef producers.