Kazakh president invites Manmohan to regional summitApril 13th, 2010 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
Washington, April 13 (IANS) Kazakhstan, the oil-rich Central Asian country, has offered India a new oil block and invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend a regional summit it is co-hosting with Turkey in June.
Manmohan Singh met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev Sunday and discussed a host of issues, including greater cooperation in hydrocarbons and infrastructure.
Nazarbayev pitched for greater presence of Indian companies in his country. He spoke about expanded cooperation in areas ranging from hydrocarbons, agriculture and infrastructure to fisheries, petrochemicals and power.
The Kazakh president mentioned 170 odd projects his government was carrying out to speed up industrialisation of the country and invited Indian companies to set up thermal power plants.
He lauded India’s reconstruction role in Afghanistan and underlined the need for regional stability.
“Nazarbayev was very appreciative of India’s role in development and reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of the Indian external affairs ministry, told journalists here.
He added that once the situation in Afghanistan stabilised, it would pave the way for direct surface link between India and Kazakhstan.
Nazarbayev also invited Manmohan Singh to attend the third Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit which his country will jointly host with Turkey June 7-9 in Istanbul.
Relations between India and Kazakhstan acquired an added momentum after the two countries signed an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation in January last year.
Both agreed on the importance of stability, security and economic development of Afghanistan and also expressed concern over the production of and trafficking in narcotics, he said.
“The president invited the prime minister to visit Kazakhstan, which he accepted,” Prakash said.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is likely to be in Kazakhstan next month to draw a road map to implement the agreements and initiatives that were agreed between the two countries when Nazarbayev visited New Delhi in January 2009.
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