Krishna to visit Kazakhstan next month

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New Delhi/Astana, Apr.23 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna is to undertake a three-day visit of Kazakhstan in the middle of May.

Sources at the Embassy of India in Kazakh capital Astana told ANI over phone that Mr. Krishna is expected to visit between May 11 and 13.

One source said the visit is being viewed as important in the wake of the recent bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

He said the visit of Mr. Krishna would be used to take Indo-Kazakh relations forward.

He said that relations between the two countries are looking up in various sectors.

Earlier this month, India's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Ashok Sajjanhar, inaugurated an India Study Centre at the Kazakh Humanitarian and Juridical University in Astana.

The event was attended by Ambassador Doulat Kuanishev of the Kazakh Foreign Office and Professor Marat Kogamov, Rector of the Kazakh Humanitarian and Juridical University in Astana on April 16.

Its inauguration was in pursuance of a decision taken during the visit of President Nazarbayev to India in January, 2009.

During that visit, it was decided to upgrade bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership and to promote cooperation in all areas including political, strategic, economic, commercial, scientific, technological, cultural, social and educational spheres.

Cooperation in the area of education was identified as a priority for further expanding and strengthening bilateral relations.

An embassy press release said that the India Study Centre will focus on promoting the study of India and India related subjects including Indian history, politics, economics, culture and philosophy.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Sajjanhar said that the Centre will fulfil an important role in informing the younger generation of Kazakhstan about the rapid progress and growth that India has achieved over the last 60 years since its independence.

He also spoke of the historical and civilisational links between India and Kazakhstan and said that the current international and regional situation presents a unique opportunity to both the countries to further strengthen their ties particularly in the economic, commercial and educational spheres.

He informed that Indian teachers of Yoga, Hindi, and Indian Classical and Folk Dances will regularly give classes at the University.

Professor Marat Kogamov warmly thanked the embassy for its contribution in establishing the India Study Centre at the University.

He said that India has always been close to the hearts and minds of the Kazakh people. He expressed confidence that the establishment of the Centre will significantly contribute to further strengthening and expansion of bilateral ties.

Ambassador Doulat Kuanishev spoke about the various initiatives and activities that have been undertaken by the embassy in the recent past to strengthen bilateral ties and relations.

He said that the forthcoming visit of Mr. Krishna will further add substance to the growing bilateral relationship.

The formal speeches were followed by a cultural programme resented by university students. (ANI)

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