ASTANA, 14 March 2019 - Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov met with Ambassador of Afghanistan to Kazakhstan Mohammad Farhad Azimi. The parties discussed the current state and future prospects of Kazakh-Afghan cooperation in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian spheres.
“Cooperation with Afghanistan in the framework of integration processes in Central Asia, the development of cooperation across the spectrum of relations in both bilateral and multilateral formats will have a positive impact on our overall cooperation. Kazakhstan has been contributing to the peace process and reconstruction in Afghanistan for many years," the Minister said.
The progressive dynamics of mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, as well as the growing indicators of mutual trade were also noted at the meeting. At the same time, it was stressed that the potential of trade and economic cooperation were promising.
Kazakhstan is interested in increasing the export of grain products to Afghanistan, in strengthening cooperation and interaction in transit and humanitarian domains, in the implementation of railway and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, as well as in the continuation of the educational program of Kazakhstan for Afghan citizens. Military-technical cooperation is one of the possible aspects of bilateral cooperation.
In turn, the Ambassador of Afghanistan thanked the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev for the attention paid to his country. “We highly appreciate the role of Kazakhstan in the development of Afghanistan. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, you organized the first visit of the Council to Kabul. We consider Kazakhstan, despite the absence of common borders, our friendly neighbor," said Azimi.
The Afghan diplomat expressed on behalf of the leadership of his country the desire to bring the relations between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan to a strategic level and sign an agreement. According to the Ambassador, Afghanistan has signed similar agreements with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The important role of Afghan students, who have mastered civil professions in Kazakhstan's Universities and are now contributing to the peaceful construction of Afghanistan, was also noted. In this regard, the Afghan side expressed a request to increase the number of educational grants. In the period from 2010 to 2021, more than 1,000 Afghan citizens will study in Kazakh Universities.
H.E. Mohammad Farhad Azimi said that the Afghan side was interested in the resumption of direct flights between Almaty and Kabul, which would enhance the development of business ties. As an example of the business cooperation, Kazakh company INTEGRA won a tender to construct the 43 km of the Herat - Khaf railway.
As far as bilateral trade relations concerned, Mr. Azimi said that Kazakhstan was the largest trade partner of Afghanistan in the region. The Afghan authorities were ready to provide maximum support for joint projects, including the participation of Kazakh companies in the development of mining deposits in Afghanistan.
Trade between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan in 2018 amounted to 520.6 million US dollars (export - $516.4 million, import - $4.2 million).