India, Kazakhstan pledge to work against terrorism

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Astana, Apr 8 (UNI) India and Kazakhstan today agreed to broadbase their cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector, pledged to work against terrorism and develop a secure and effective system of transport corridors for expansion and intensification of their economic cooperation.

This was agreed at a 55-minute long meeting between Vice President Hamid Ansari and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev during which whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues came up for discussion. Kazakhstan said it would double its exports to 100 million tonnes in the next ten years and India could become major partner in this respect.

India offered its expertise to Kazakhstan in tapping its vast oil reserves. The Central Asian nation has seven billion tonnes in the Caspian sea shelf. The two countries had already set up Joint Working Group on Hydrocarbons and it was decided to identify areas of cooperation in upstream and downstream sectors.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for External Affair E Ahmed and senior officials while Kazakh President was assisted by a number of ministers. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and both the leaders exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.

Mr Ansari had already met Senate Chairman Kassym Jomart Tokayev and Prime Minister Karim Massimov and discussed areas of cooperation in the critical energy sector.

Kazakhstan has also reiterated its support to India in the revamped Security Council. It said that India is the largest democracy in the world and deserves a place in the apex body of the United Nations.

Both the countries committed to fight against scourage of terrorism and pledged to work together to eleminate the menace from the face of the world. India and kazakhstan had set up a Joint Working Group on Terrorism in 2002.

As transportation was the major hurdle in giving required impetus to the bilateral economic cooperation, both the nations agreed to explore various proposals including development of transport infrastrcuture for this purpose.

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