This morning (10 December) Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle received Kanat Saudabayev, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, for talks at the Federal Foreign Office.
Below you can read the transcript of the comments made by the Federal Foreign Minister at the public signing of two agreements with the Republic of Kazakhstan following the talks:
“Today we had detailed, in-depth political talks. Your country faces a major challenge, namely the OSCE chairmanship next year. This is a chairmanship which we worked for and will continue to support. It is a major opportunity for your country, but at the same time a major responsibility.
The good relations between our two countries find expression today in the signing of the two agreements – a readmission agreement and an agreement on the waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports. Kazakhstan Year 2009 in Germany was very well received here. I hope the Germany in Kazakhstan 2010 cultural year will also enjoy such prominent and keen interest.
Just to draw attention again to the intensity of our cultural and also political and economic relations – in 2008 alone, 180,000 Kazakhs learnt German. I would like to pay clear tribute to this once more. We didn’t just talk today about major political questions and international challenges but also about the important role played by education when it comes to developing and supporting countries.
We support and value the path of reform on which your country has embarked. We both know that also in this sphere things remain to be done in Kazakhstan. We will continue to support you and are pleased to see positive developments. We would encourage you to continue these positive developments. This is a point I am making particularly today, on Human Rights Day.
To sum up, I can say the relations between our countries are solid, they are good and we are working on extending them further.”