Hope Kazakhstan and Cyprus to further cooperation, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis
3 April 2012 19:01

Hope Kazakhstan and Cyprus to further cooperation, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis

ASTANA. April 3. KAZINFORM Foreign Minister of Cyprus Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis paid an official visit to Kazakhstan. In an interview with Kazinform Agency the Minister shared her impressions and told about the results of her visit.

You have had bilateral meeting and signed important bilateral document during your visit. Are you satisfied with the results of your trip to Kazakhstan?

Sure. It is a great pleasure for me to visit you county. I am really glad to be the first Foreign Minister of Cyprus to travel to Kazakhstan. it is symbolic that I have paid my visit the year when the two countries mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

For the past 20 years the countries achieved certain agreements and dynamics in the development of bilateral relations based on friendship. I hope my visit will give a new impetus to implementation of previously concluded agreements and promises.

We have two important documents. The first one is the protocol on cooperation and consultations between the foreign ministries of Kazakhstan and Cyprus, the second is a memo of cooperation between the Kazakh Education and Science Ministry and Cyprus' Education and Culture Ministry. I have met with Kazakh Foreign Affairs Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Education and Science Minister Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov, Economic Development and Trade Minister Bakhyzhan Sagintayev and Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev. Besides, I had talks with Secretary of State Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed. I believe the meetings will fuel the development of cooperation between our countries. I hope this cooperation will be more dynamic and practical.

What could you say about the memo of cooperation between the education ministries?

The memo the two ministries signed is the memorandum of intent. We debated and the possibility to sign an additional agreement on mutual recognition of certificates. It would give Kazakhstanis an opportunity to study in Cyprus and vise versa. Young people would get familiarized with culture and hospitality of our people. Cyprus and Kazakhstan have high level of education but Cyprus is a member of the European Union and our system meets all the EU requirements. I think it is a good opportunity for your youth to become familiar with the European education through Cyprus.

We have public and private universities majoring in financial management and business management, tourism to provide services to Kazakhstanis students.

Is Cyprus ready to invest into Kazakhstan's tourism taking advantages of the Customs Union?

Undoubtedly, our investors are interested in Kazakhstan. We suggested our tourism ministries to exchange visits. As you know, Cyprus enjoys a well-developed tourism infrastructure. Annually we receive about 3 mln tourists. Tourist flows from Russia alone increased threefold for the past 3 years. I think tourism cooperation would be beneficial to both countries.

Do you plan to facilitate the visa regime for Kazakhstanis?

We have already told Kazakhstan through our Embassy in Moscow that Cyprus could consider the possibility to facilitate the visa regime for the holders of the national Kazakhstan's passports. We do every thing possible to address this issue with all due care. I would like to note, our Embassy in Moscow is equipped to issue visas in facilitated regime.

Do you plan to open an embassy of Cyprus in Kazakhstan?

Our Government took a political decision to open the diplomatic mission of Cyprus to Kazakhstan in 2010. But for the crisis throughout Europe the implementation of this decision was suspended. I think the decision would be taken in 2012 so we could talk about the opening of the embassy in Astana in 2013 to exercise its functions throughout Central Asia.

Thank you for the interview.

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