Kazakhstan, GB agree on goods transit from Afghanistan

Kazakhstan and the Great Britain signed an agreement on goods transit from Afghanistan within the visit of British Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported on April 15.

This agreement is important for the effective withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan.

Within the visit Baroness Warsi discussed further development of bilateral relations and topical international issues with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov.

The sides noted that the bilateral relations are developing dynamically and stressed the importance of work of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation,.

The next meetings of the intergovernmental commission are expected to be held in Astana in May within the Astana Economic Forum and in London in October within the traditional Kazakh business forum.

Yerlan Idrisov and Baroness Warsi also discussed visa issues and facilitation of British visa obtaining procedures for Kazakh citizens. Agreement on this issue was reached during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Astana in July 2013.

Speaking of the international agenda, Mr. Idrisov and Baroness Warsi discussed the situation in Ukraine, the Iranian nuclear program and the situation in Afghanistan in the light of presidential elections in this country and the process of withdrawal of international coalition’s troops.

The parties stressed that the situation in Ukraine should be resolved through negotiation and diplomacy, including through timely and effective negotiations between the EU, Russia, Ukraine and the United States in Geneva on April 17.

Yerlan Idrisov and Baroness Warsi also expressed commitment to negotiation on Iran’s nuclear program, as well as the further stabilization of Afghanistan.

The trade volume between Kazakhstan and Great Britain hit $2.1 billion in 2013, according to the Kazakh Customs Control Committee. Kazakh export reached $1.5 billion, import – $0.6 billion in this period.

Britain is the third top-investor in Kazakhstan (after the Netherlands and the United States). The Great Britain invested $10 billion in Kazakhstan from 2005 till September 2013.