Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov paid official visit to the Lithuanian Republic
Jan 28. MFA
On January 26-27, 2014 an official visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov to the Lithuanian Republic was made.
Vilnius was the first destination point along the European tour of the head of the Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The main aim of the tour is discussing the ways of practical implementation of the agreements reached during recent negotiations between President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the world’s leaders in Davos. These include meetings with President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevedo.
The official Vilnius highly appreciated the first since 2000 visit of the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister to Lithuania. This high estimation was proved by the meetings of the head of the Kazakhstan’s diplomacy with President of the Lithuanian Republic Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, Head of Seimas Loreta Graužinienė, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius.
As is widely known, last year Lithuania was successfully chairing the European Council. Based on this, the main issue of the meeting agenda in Vilnius was strengthening cooperation with the European Union.
The leadership of the Lithuanian Republic wholeheartedly supported Kazakhstan’s eagerness to a gradual enlargement of cooperation with Europe on both bilateral and multilateral bases. An important outcome of the negotiations became reassurance of commitment of the Lithuanian government to facilitate Kazakhstan’s collaboration with the European Union, including in such areas as signing Agreement on enlarged partnership and cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union, accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO, economic and investment cooperation, as well as easing of the Schengen visa regime for Kazakhstan citizens.
Minister Idrissov drew special attention of the counterparts to the latter question, by underscoring easing the European visa regime and prospective complete cancellation of visa requirements Kazakhstan citizens would become a catalyst for cooperation in all spheres including entrepreneurial ties, tourism, education, investments etc. Certainly, introduction of no-visa regime with the Schengen area states is not an easy issue, which requires extensive coordinative procedures, signing a range of bilateral and multilateral agreements, as well as reaching a consensus resolution of all member states of the single European visa area. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan actively works on preparation of all necessary documents in this respect. According to Minister Idrissov, it is expected the European partners “will throw away stereotypes and provide unprejudiced evaluation of the progress of Kazakhstan as an established state, which does not pose any risks, be they in migration, or security areas”.
The representatives of the Lithuanian Republic have expressed genuine interest to the current situation and development perspectives of our country. They noted they observe achievements of Kazakhstan with great delight. Among the achievements, the representatives mentioned prospective hosting the exhibition “EXPO-2017” in Astana, which became, in their view, “a large political victory” and acknowledgement of the international reputation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Еrlan Idrissov briefed in details his Lithuanian partners on the proposed by the Leader of Nation “Strategy-2050”, main aspects of the recent President’s Address to the people, as well as the plans on industrial-innovative development and “greening” of our economy.
Consistently growing trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Lithuania was a facilitative backdrop for the negotiations on all levels. For the period of January-November 2013, this indicator increased by almost 25%, by reaching US$ 700 million. With that, the parties have noted the potential of trade –economic cooperation is not unleashed to its full extent. In this respect, an agreement was reached to put maximum efforts to pragmatic and mutually beneficial development of connections in the areas of transport, logistics, agriculture and tourism, education and healthcare.
Transit-transport cooperation represents a special interest to both sides. In this respect, the representatives of Lithuania have encouraged the Kazakhstan businesses to more active exploitation of potential of the Klaipeda port and the country’s rail ways, including increasing shipments from Kazakhstan in the frames of the projects “Baltic wind” and “Saule”. Interestingly, the latter name have similar meaning -“Sun light” in Kazakh and “sun” – in Lithuanian, although the languages belong to different language groups.
In his turn, Minister Idrissov underscored, the Kazakhstan side would welcome intensification of cooperation in agriculture. Specifically, Kazakhstan is interested in Lithuania’s advanced experience in the area of agriculture processing and modern technologies of management in agriculture. As the Kazakhstan’s diplomat said, our country “is seriously determined to bring its agriculture to the new level”, and facilitation by the Lithuanian entrepreneurs in this respect would hugely contribute reaching the stated goal.
The parties agreed to continue the dialogue along the whole specter of the cooperation as well as within the process of preparation to the upcoming visit of the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius to Astana in 2014 and discussing a possibility of organization of President’s Nazarbayev visit to Vilnius.
During the visit of Erlan Idrissov, the Plan of Action on cooperation for 2014-2015 was signed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Lithuania. In addition, an enlarged interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs with major Lithuanian media was held.