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NUR-SULTAN, May 15, 2019 – Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov has held talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, following his arrival to Kazakhstan on an official visit.
The parties discussed pressing issues surrounding bilateral cooperation, outlined concrete plans regarding political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian affairs, and reached common ground on international cooperation.
During the meeting, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to further enhancing political interactions and holding regular consultations, and a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two ministries.
Kazakhstan considers Cyprus an important partner in Southern Europe. Nicosia supports the international and regional initiatives of Nur-Sultan in the OSCE, the UN and other international platforms.
The ministers reviewed the new “Three D" geopolitical initiative proposed by Kazakhstan's First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, with the Cypriot delegation giving the program its highest appraisal, expressing their readiness to promote it in the international arena.
Mr. Christodoulides and Mr. Atamkulov focused on developing trade, economic and investment cooperation, which was the original basis for relations between the two nations. The food, agriculture, financial services and tourist industries were identified as promising areas for future cooperation.
The parties agreed to develop a roadmap of interaction, with a special focus on trade and economic cooperation. Last year, trade between the two countries amounted to $20.3 million, while the inflow of direct Cypriot investment into the Kazakh economy since 2005 has reached $2.2 billion. Nearly 210 legal entities, branches and representative offices with Cypriot involvement are registered in Kazakhstan.
Further opportunities to enter new markets and attract capital and innovative technologies are being provided to Kazakhstan and Cyprus by China's “Belt and Road" initiative. The Cypriot side was informed about the joint industrial projects between Kazakhstan and China, and the Kazakh side proposed maximising the potential of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), including increased effective cooperation in light of the initiative.
The parties separately considered furthering the partnership between Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU). The Foreign Minister of Cyprus, a member of the EU, expressed interest in the effective implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Kazakhstan, as well as the updated EU Strategy on Central Asia. He stressed that Kazakhstan can fully count on Cyprus to support further cooperation with the EU. “The European Union highly appreciates the balanced and far-sighted foreign policy of Kazakhstan," the Cypriot Minister emphasized.
A key achievement of the visit was the signing of the intergovernmental convention on avoiding double taxation, signed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov, and Mr. Christodoulides, which will lay a foundation for more intensive cooperation between the business circles of the two countries.
During his visit to Nur-Sultan, Mr. Christodoulides held meetings with speakers of both houses of Kazakhstan's Parliament, Dariga Nazarbayeva and Nurlan Nigmatulin, as well as the AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov.