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External Affairs Minister’s Media Statement at the Joint Press Interaction with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan

March 05, 2013

Your Excellency Mr Erlan Idrissov, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan,
Friends from Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure for me to host H.E. Mr.Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. Mr Idrissov is on an official visit to India at my invitation. It is a particular honour for me to meet this old friend of India who in fact started his diplomatic career in this city as a member of the then Embassy of the Soviet Union.

As you know, India’s relations with Kazakhstan have always been warm and friendly. In the last few years, we have had several important exchanges at the levels of our leaders. In 2009, during the visit of the President of Kazakhstan to India as Chief Guest to our Republic Day, we declared a ‘Strategic Partnership’ that we have been nurturing since. Our Prime Minister visited Kazakhstan in 2011 on a visit which further strengthened the strategic partnership. We signed a ‘Joint Action Plan’ defining the roadmap till 2014, of various bilateral projects and we had the opportunity today to review the very constructive progress along this road map.

Our meeting today was very fruitful. We reviewed particularly our bilateral relationship which now encompasses a number of strategic sectors including defence, civil nuclear energy and hydrocarbons. We also discussed various regional and international issues of mutual interest. We hold similar views on most pressing global problems. We agreed that the menace of international terrorism has to be fought by the international community collectively and that we must also make bilateral efforts in this direction.

We expressed satisfaction over the progress in our trade and investment relations. Our trade is reported to have crossed the half billion dollar mark for the first time last year. We also have a number of significant investment projects in the pipeline, in both countries. We agreed to explore possibilities of creating direct trade and energy corridors between our countries. We hope to also have enhanced air connectivity with airlines from Kazakhstan and India soon having upto 14 flights a week to destinations in each of our countries.

We reviewed our growing cooperation in the energy sector. Our company ONGC Videsh Limited has already acquired a 25% stake in the Satpayev Oil Block in the Caspian Sea, based on agreements that were reached when our Prime Minister visited Kazakhstan. We also explored further possibilities of cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. We requested the support of the Government of Kazakhstan for an important bid that OVL is making for a stake in the Kashagan oil field.

We have strong links in the educational and cultural spheres. Collaboration in the field of Information Technology is of special interest to Kazakhstan. India is setting up an IT Centre of Excellence at the Eurasian University in Astana, which will be equipped with a super computer. The first batch of trainees from the Eurasian University have begun training in India last month. We also informed the Hon’ble Minister that India will set up a Central Asia e-network as part of our ‘Connect Central Asia Policy’, which would bring tele-education and tele-medicine to the people of Kazakhstan.

We agreed to stay in touch on important global and regional issues. I have informed the hon’ble minister that i would be travelling to kazakhstan for the Istanbul process and later once again for the bilateral talks. We have decided to strengthen our strategic partnership with new initiatives to boost our trade and economic ties.

I now give the floor to Foreign Minister Idrissov.

New Delhi
March 5, 2013

For the video of this media interaction, please visit:
Joint Media Interaction- Visit of Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan (March 5, 2013)


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