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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Met With Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

07.05.2012

No 119-E

At his meeting in Astana today with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia is interested in closer economic and trade relations with Kazakhstan, as well as cultural and educational co-operation. “We would also like to promote mutual interests in international organisations,” Paet stated. “The opening of the Estonian Embassy in Astana will help us to better fulfil these goals,” he noted.

At the meeting, Paet expressed satisfaction over the fact that Kazakhstan has decided on a visa waiver for Estonian citizens. “The visa waiver for Estonian citizens, which will most likely be applicable as of 1 June, will help to develop closer ties among people and promote tourism,” he said.

During the meeting, Paet and Massimov spoke about European Union-Kazakhstan relations and the European Union’s Central Asia Strategy. Paet expressed hope that negotiations for an enhanced Partnership and Co-operation Agreement between the European Union and Kazakhstan would progress quickly and the agreement could be signed soon. “Estonia also feels it is essential to improve the European Union’s Central Asia Strategy so that it would take into consideration changes in the region, such as the departure of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014,” he said.

During his meeting with the prime minister of Kazakhstan, Paet also emphasised how important the countries of the region and regional co-operation are for Afghanistan’s stability and peaceful development. “We highly value Kazakhstan’s work in supporting Afghanistan and its active participation thus far in the region’s transport matters,” Paet said. “We feel it is necessary to hold consultations with Kazakhstan and other international security partners during the NATO summit in Chicago to discuss the future of Afghanistan.”

Paet also expressed hope that a direct flight would soon be opened between Estonia and Kazakhstan.

Today in Astana Foreign Minister Paet also met with Kazakh Minister of Transport and Communications Askar Zhumagaliyev, with whom he discussed aviation co-operation and the transport of Kazakh goods via Estonian railways and harbours.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/721576295978...

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