Minister for Europe visit to Kazakhstan

September 15, 2009

Minister for Europe, Baroness Kinnock, visited Kazakhstan on 7 – 8 September. The visit highlighted the strong bilateral relationship between the UK and Kazakhstan.

The UK is one of the top three investors in Kazakhstan, with strong links in the oil and gas sector now being complemented by partnerships in other sectors, including financial services and education. The visit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on key global challenges prior to the Kazakhstan’s historic Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010.

In Almaty and Astana, Glenys Kinnock met with ministers, representatives of non-government organisations and political parties. The Minister also met Kazakhs from all walks of life, talk to students of the Eurasian University, and meet British alumni and representatives of the British companies working in Kazakhstan.

Baroness Kinnock also visited the Institute of Nuclear Physics and unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of a Physical Protection project, part funded by the UK, underlining close co-operation between two countries on nuclear safety.

Speaking ahead of her visit, Baroness Kinnock said: “I am very much looking forward to making my first visit to Kazakhstan. Our two countries have traditionally held strong commercial ties. These are now being complimented by growing cooperation in areas such as education and the fight against climate change and nuclear proliferation. During my visit I hope to learn more about life in Kazakhstan and understand how we can work even closer together, including in support of Kazakhstan’s upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE. With the Chairmanship comes challenges. The challenge of driving forward those areas that Kazakhstan has highlighted as priorities for next year. But also the responsibility to respect and take forward the organisation’s values.”