Kazakhstan to assist India’s security measures

April 8th, 2008 - 6:20 pm ICT by admin  

By Vishnu Makhijani
Astana, April 8 (IANS) Kazakhstan Tuesday offered to assist in India’ efforts to ensure its energy security even as it hoped for greater cooperation in the food production and education spheres. The affirmation came during a meeting here between visiting Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev that lasted just under an hour.

“The president was very forthright on the energy and food production areas and mentioned that a lot of groundwork still needs to be done,” a senior official of India’s external affairs ministry, who is accompanying Ansari on his visit here, told reporters after the meeting.

“For instance, the president mentioned that Kazakhstan was currently producing 50 million tonnes of oil a year and that this could rise to 100 million tonnes per year in 10 years. This could signal hydrocarbons exports to India if infrastructure issues are worked out,” the official said.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed was among those who attended the meeting.

Ansari is on a six-day visit to cash-rich Central Asia to boost India’s engagement with the region and to expand cooperation in the economic and educational sectors.

During a meeting Monday between Ansari and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim K. Massimov, the two countries pledged to ramp their engagement in the fields of hydrocarbons, food production, education and IT.

Massimov, as also Kazakh Senate Chairman Kasym-Jomart Tokaev with whom Ansari held delegation-level talks earlier Monday, reiterated Kazakhstan’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

During Ansari’s visit to Turkmenistan capital Ashgabat, the two countries Saturday signed a landmark memorandum of understanding to engage in the energy sphere.

Ansari Tuesday afternoon left for Almaty where the Kazakh State University will confer an honorary doctorate on him.

The vice president returns home Thursday.

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