Astana (Kazakhstan), May 12 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who arrived here on a three-day State visit on Tuesday, said that both India and Kazakhstan have a strong congruence of views on major regional and international issues.
Addressing the media here, Krishna said: "India and Kazakhstan enjoy warm and friendly ties going back several millennia. We both are multi-ethnic, multi-religious and secular societies. We have also forged a strategic partnership to give a qualitative boost to our ties."
"The landmark visit of President Nazarbayev to India (January 2009) as a chief guest at our Republic Day celebrations provided a significant impulse to our bilateral ties," he added.
He also said that India have rapidly moved to implement the far reaching initiatives taken during his visit, in diverse sectors like energy, including hydro-carbon, thermal and nuclear, fertilizers, agriculture, information technology, space, pharmaceuticals, trade and investment.
Krishna further said he was confident that an agreement between ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and KazMunaiGas on exploration and production in the Satpayev Oil Block would be concluded soon.
He said he is also confident that an Inter-Governmental Agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation would be finalized soon.
"This sector has immense possibilities for bilateral cooperation including for supply of uranium ore, investment by Indian companies in mining in Kazakhstan, construction of nuclear reactors and others," he added.
He said discussions in several other promising areas like thermal power plants, transportation and banking are at an advanced stage.
"Both India and Kazakhstan are factors of peace, stability, development and growth, not only in the region but also in the world," he added.
Krishna further said: "We would like to invite Kazakh companies to invest in India and take advantage of the huge market that India has to offer."
India and Kazakhstan will sign an exploration and production agreement for the Satpayev oil block on the Caspian Sea before the new domestic Kazakh law on reviewing contracts of foreign companies comes into force. (ANI)