Kazakhstan, France aim to further strengthen strategic partnership
18 June 2022 14:12

Kazakhstan, France aim to further strengthen strategic partnership

PARIS. KAZINFORM Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko paid a visit to Paris on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and France, to meet with French colleagues, business representatives and research experts, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed.

At the 9th round of the political consultations, headed by Vassilenko and the Director of the Department of Continental Europe of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Frederic Mondoloni, parties have discussed in detail the current state and the perspectives of deepening and widening of the bilateral relations between the two countries. Along with that both sides checked positions on the actual regional and international agenda including the conflict in Ukraine and situation in Afghanistan.

France is the first country in the European Union with whom Kazakhstan improved its relations to the strategic partnership level (in 2008). Today over 170 companies that include French capital operate in Kazakhstan, such as TNCs Total, Orano, Air Liquide, Lactalis, Danone, Vicat, Airbus, Thales, Alstom, etc. French direct investment has achieved 17 billions of USD in the period between 2005 and 2021 making this country one of the top five foreign investors. As of today, the most promising areas of cooperation are agriculture, renewable energy and the nuclear industry, digitalization, as well as interaction in the engineering and technology sectors.

During the talks, both sides noted the importance of giving a new impetus to relations through the exchange of high-level visits. Mondoloni stressed in this regard that Kazakhstan is a key and reliable partner of France in the Central Asian region, expressing hope for the organization in the nearest future of a meeting of the heads of the two states.

Taking into account the French Presidency in the Council of the EU in the first part of the 2022, the heads of the delegations talked about current relations and their perspectives between Kazakhstan and the EU. Strong emphasis was made on the implementation of all provisions of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the EU that covers 29 areas, and includes expansion of contacts between the citizens of the two countries, and also the facilitation of the visa regime for our citizens.

The Kazakh diplomat informed his colleagues about the implementation of large-scale political and socio-economic reforms initiated by the President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to build the «New Kazakhstan».

The development of democratic processes in Kazakhstan was also part of the conference held on the same day with a topic «New Kazakhstan: the future of France's strategic partner» at the premises of the leading European think tank - the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI). The event was attended by the representatives of government, business and analytical experts of France, as well as the diplomatic corps and the media.

At the opening speech the IFRI Founding President Thierry de Montbrial recalled Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's «far-sighted speech, which has not lost its relevance to this day» within the walls of this authoritative center when he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan in June 1998. In this regard he quoted K.Tokayev's statement at that event that «Kazakhstan is striving to gradually achieve the level of democratic development of the Western states». Noting the symbolism and continuity of those statements and today's actions of President K.Tokayev, de Montbrial emphasized that modern transformational processes in Kazakhstan are a logical continuation of the mentioned policy.

Vassilenko in his speech and answers to the various questions presented the essence of the reforms carried out in the country, highlighted the commitment of the «Listening State» to the continuation and deepening of the comprehensive democratic processes. «The referendum held in our country on June 5 is only the initial stage of our reforms, the global modernization of the country will continue. The ongoing deep institutional changes meet the aspirations of Kazakh people», - he said.

In the second part of the visit, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs also took part in the opening of an open-air photo exhibition. This was organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan and dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Kazakh-French diplomatic relations and located near the Arc de Triomphe.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to France Jean Galiev addressing the guests of the event with a welcoming speech noted that over the past period our countries have come a long way. And that as of today a solid base has been created for further expansion and strengthening of strategic partnership based on friendship and trust.

At the ceremony Vassilenko presented the medal «30 Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan» on behalf of the President of Kazakhstan to the Deputy of the National Assembly, Chairman of the Friendship Group «France-Kazakhstan» Pierre Cabaret for his special contribution to the strengthening of ties between the two countries, including decentralized cooperation with active involvement of the regions of France. Expressing gratitude to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the deputy stressed that «Kazakhstan is a country for which democratic values ​​are of great importance», and stated that over the past five years of his parliamentary activity, Kazakhstan has become his «second homeland».

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