Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan to boost cooperation

Mar 03, 2004 01:00 AM

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan discussed ways of boosting cooperation between their two countries. Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, and visiting Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev reviewed "developments on the Islamic and international scenes... as well as ways of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in all domains," a report said.
The crown prince and other high-ranking officials welcomed Nazarbayev on arrival at Riyadh Air Base for a visit lasting several days. The Kazakh president is accompanied by a 50-strong delegation that includes Foreign Minister Kassymzhomart Tokayev.

Kazakhstan, which boasts three huge oil fields in and around the Caspian Sea, is becoming a major exporter. The Central Asian country's oil fields are gradually being developed to supply the international market, with US firms such as ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil playing a prominent role. Prince Abdullah awarded Nazarbayev the Kingdom's top medal -- Qiladat Badr Al-Kubra -- reserved for "top leaders of the Islamic nation" and received Kazakhstan's top award.
The visit coincides with meetings of a joint economic commission in Riyadh. The two countries agreed to form five working committees to boost cooperation in commercial, economic, educational, cultural, information, youth, sports and technical fields.

The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Hashim Yamani and Teymur Khan Hanibitouv, governor of Astana City in the former Soviet republic, according to Kazakh diplomats. Dr Yamani highlighted the existing fraternal relations between the Kingdom and Kazakhstan. He underscored the importance of exploring all means of enhancing trade exchanges between the two countries.
Hanibitouv said the Kingdom was Kazakhstan's most important strategic partner. He highlighted his country's plans to develop national industries, agriculture and infrastructure projects and urged Saudi businesses to contribute to its development.

Source: Arab News
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