Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the Caspian littoral states that are known to have common history of foundation and development in old time and as member states of the former USSR have always maintained amicable and good neighborly relations. The countries embarked on a brand new level of relations since both had gained independence back to 1991.
Kazinform agency offers its readers an interview with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan, Professor, and Doctor of Economics Serik Primbetov.
Mr Ambassador, what could you say about the present bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and prospects for their development?
Relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are making good headway. Our countries cooperate within the international and regional organizations. Kazakh and Azeri ministries and departments, law-making bodies pay mutual visits to explore the ways for cooperation in certain branches. Kazakh-Azeri intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation promotes the development of trade and economic ties between the states. Its 7th meeting convened last November 4 in Astana.
Commodity turnover between the two countries stood at USD 465.575 mln in 2008, of which USD 208.860 mln accounts for export and USD 256.715 mln for import. However, as a result of the world financial crisis in 2009 the volume of trade amounted to just USD 236.956 mln. Nevertheless, the year ended with positive dynamics.
It is noteworthy; Kazakhstan delivered about 1 mln tons of crops to Azerbaijan in 2010, a hard year for agricultural producers. Kazakh-Azeri joint enterprise "Baku grain terminal" located in Baku is fully functional and produces high quality flour.
"Air Astana" and "SCAT" air carriers flying en route Almaty-Baku-Almaty, Aktau-Baku-Aktau, Atyrau-Baku-Atyrau and Baku-Aktau-Baku ferry service bespeak the successful development of ties.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan attach particular importance to cooperation between the Defense Ministries under the agreements reached.
Mr Ambassador, how would you assess the negotiation process of the Caspian littoral states on the legal status of the Caspian Sea?
I would like to note the Caspian region should become the area of effective integration and economic cooperation for the benefit of the world. The common goal of the Caspian littoral states is to tune up comprehensive and mutually profitable partnership on the Caspian Sea, to jointly find answers to modern threats and strengthen stability in the region. The 3rd Summit of heads of the Caspian littoral states held on November 18, 2010 in Baku could be regarded as a breakthrough for it ended with signing of a set of important decisions.
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran signed an "Agreement on cooperation in the field of security in the Caspian". The heads of state also adopted a Joint Declaration. Heads of state confirmed their intention in the Joint Declaration to continue work on the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.
As is known on April 3 Kazakhstan will hold the early presidential elections. What does the Embassy do to provide turnout of Kazakhstan's voters at the ballot station in Azerbaijan?
Kazakh citizens, temporarily living in the territory of Azerbaijan, will be able to vote at the polling station created under the Kazakh diplomatic office in Baku on the day of the Kazakh presidential elections.
Kazakh citizens, living or staying on the territory of Azerbaijan, may use their right to vote at the polling station No 140 at the Kazakh Embassy in Azerbaijan. About 200 citizens of the country have been registered by the consulate under the Kazakh Embassy to Azerbaijan so far.
Besides, representatives of the Kazakh diplomatic mission n Georgia and their family members will vote at our polling station.
Thank you for the interview.