Israeli prime minister visits Kazakhstan

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Astana on December 14. The two leaders discussed economic, trade and medical cooperation, and signed documents related to visa-free travel, aviation communications, and agricultural cooperation.

“Kazakhstan and Israel can cooperate effectively on a wide range of issues,” the Kazakh president’s press service quoted Nazarbayev as saying at a briefing for the media after the talks with the Israeli Prime Minister.

Nazarbayev and Netanyahu paid special attention to trade and economic issues.

“Agreements for renewal of direct air communication and working on the introduction of a visa-free regime between the two countries have been reached. Such measures, in turn, should contribute to the deepening of bilateral business contacts, and cooperation in tourism,” Nazarbayev said.

In Nazarbayev’s words, the essential stimulus for business ties’ progress between the two countries is establishment of a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and Israel, upon which the substantive negotiations have already taken place.

During his talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Nazarbayev outlined three main areas of bilateral cooperation.

“Firstly, it is agriculture. We have unique conditions for doing agricultural business, and Israel has advanced technology. Processing of agricultural products and economical irrigation of land is what we would like to learn from you as for experience. Secondly, Israel is a world leader in the field of innovation and advanced technologies, while Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources. We will send a special team of experts with the aim to prepare specific agreements on the exchange of raw materials for advanced technologies,” the President said.

The President of Kazakhstan mentioned the significance of building the Kazakh-Israeli Innovation Centre in Almaty, which will include a world-class college and university.

The third area involves cooperation in the field of public health.

“Thousands of Kazakhstan’s medical workers have been trained in Israel. Your specialists teach master-classes based on Kazakhstan’s medical centres. We believe that cooperation is necessary to expand. As a result we are now in a position to look into the possibility of transferring a number of university clinics to discretionary management by Israeli organizations,” Nazarbayev said.

During the talks, the Israeli side expressed interest in using the transit-transport potential of Kazakhstan.

“Today’s meeting is a big leap forward in collaboration between our countries. We are also determined to develop our partnerships in the three areas identified by you,” the Prime Minister of Israel said to Nazarbayev.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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