French President’s visit to Kazakhstan demonstrates importance of this country for Europe: expert
October 7. Trend News
French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Kazakhstan demonstrates great importance of this country for Europe, European expert on Central Asia Stefan Meister said.
“Sarkozy’s visit, one of the most important leaders of EU countries, demonstrates that the region in the center of EU attention,” expert of the German Council on Foreign Policy Meister said in an E-mail from Berlin.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan on October 6. French President and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed possible military cooperation, as well as concluded several agreements in oil and gas supplies.
Military agreement will allow French soldiers and military technique to cross Kazakh border to participate in military actions against Talibs in Afghanistan, Nazarbayev and Sarkozy’s joint statement said.
Kazakhstan will also allow the association of French companies to get share in construction of oil pipeline which will connect Kazakh fields with coast of the Caspian Sea. Oil is planned to be transported to Azerbaijan from Kazakh ports and supplied to Europe via pipeline avoiding Russia. The project is worth $2 billion.
Meister said that Sarkozy will also develop economic and political relations between France, EU and the region in future.
Expert said that Kazakhstan plays important role for Europe.
“It is first of all the business relations which is of main interest for France and Kazakhstan. French investment in Kazakhstan is increasing since a couple of years,” Meister said.
There is a big interest in energy cooperation, not only in oil and gas but also in the nuclear sphere, he said.
Expert said that France will use the territory of Kazakhstan to transport military equipment to Afghanistan.
He said that Kazakhstan is the most stabil country in the region and the most interesting country for businness relations.
Moreover, it will take over the OSCE chair next year, which will give the country an increasing politicial importance.
He said that Central Asia is first of all important for Europe because of its energy and raw material ressources.
Expert also stressed Kazakhstan’s importance as a point of transportation.
“It is an increasing important market and a bridge to problematic countries like Pakistan, Afganistian and Iran,” Meister said.