Washington: India and Kazakhstan will soon wrap-up inter-governmental negotiations on civil nuclear cooperation, a move that came after meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakh President Noorsultan Nazarbayev.
External affairs minister S M Krishna, is scheduled to visit 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.
During a 45-minute meeting with Singh, on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Nazarbayev also invited Indian companies to invest heavily in Kazakhstan.
Singh and Nazarbayev also discussed the situation in the region including Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Both agreed on the importance of stability, security and economic development of Afghanistan and also expressed concern at production of narcotics and trafficking of narcotics.
“Nazarbayev was very appreciative of India’s role in development and reconstruction of Afghanistan,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash, told journalists, adding that he was of the view that once the situation in Afghanistan stabilises that would pave the way for direct surface link between India and Kazakhstan.
“The President invited Prime Minister to visit Kazakhstan, which he accepted,” Prakash said.
“President Nazarbayev mentioned to the Prime Minister that they were planning 170 major projects in a variety of sectors to speed up the industrialisation of Kazakhstan and invited Indian companies to participate in those projects.
He also noted that there was a Customs Union between Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia and that Indian companies present there could supply their goods and services to the entire customs union so that they have a large area and population to cover,” he added.
”The two leaders reviewed the relationship, the agreement and the initiatives that had been agreed upon since President’s visit to India.
President Nazarbayev spoke upon very appreciatively of India’s economic development and evinced keen interest in Indian companies playing a greater role and in expanded presence in Kazakhstan,“ he said.
The two leaders wanted enhanced cooperation in a number of areas especially agriculture, civil construction, mining, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals as well as other sectors.
They particularly spoke of concertising collaborations and initiatives that could be implemented on ground at the earliest, he added.
“Kazakhstan is energy rich and they are keen on having more thermal power plants,” the spokesperson said adding that Nazarbayev President also told the Prime Minister that a framework for greater cooperation in the hydro carbon sector would be approved soon by the Kazak Government.
The President also invited Indian companies’ thermal power plants in Kazakhstan, he said.