Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Kairat Sarybay concluded the first Session of Inter-Governmental Consultations which was held on the 28 September 2010 in Pretoria.
During the Consultations the two countries had a platform to measure, strengthen and deepen their bilateral relations by engaging in discussions aimed at advancing practical co-operation, which included an undertaking to conclude an Agreement on the mutual waiver of Visa Requirements for the holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports as soon as possible; and also exploring opportunities in the fields of energy and mineral resources. Further Agreements being negotiated include the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments; Promotion of Trade and Co-operation; and Co-operation in the Field of Mineral Resources and Energy.
The two countries also identified measures to expand their bilateral representation, which will see South Africa, as one of the ways by which it will support the Embassy in Astana, appointing an Honorary Consul in Almaty with a view to help South Africans access the Kazakh business community.
In this regard, it is hoped that Kazakhstan will open an Embassy in Pretoria in the near future and look into the possibility of also appointing an Honorary Consul in South Africa. These measures will assist in improving contact and establishing improved business relations and tourism.
The Deputy Ministers also raised ways by which to enhance co-operation in multilateral for a regarding issues such as the reform of the United Nations; disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; and climate change negotiations. Points of view were also exchanged on important regional issues, including Kazakhstan’s Chairing of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building (CICA); the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO); the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC); as well as areas of conflict in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Further areas of common interest identified included the Mining Industry; Investments; Financial System; Pension System; Tourism and the hotel business as well as the organisation of large sporting events, including sports-tourism.
The 1st Session of Inter-Governmental Consultations was concluded with a strong commitment from both sides to take the necessary measures to implement decisions to further bilateral relations and expedite identified avenues for enhanced co-operation.