Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 27
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend: Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov and his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius signed an action plan for 2014-2015 during a meeting in Vilnius on Jan. 27, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry reported.
The acting plan provides specific guidelines for cooperation.
The meeting was focused on prospects for further bilateral cooperation, the Kazakh-EU relations, security situation and regional cooperation in Central Asia.
During their conversation, the foreign ministers dedicated a lot of attention to cooperation within international organizations.
Linkevicius stressed that Kazakhstan is Lithuania's most important economic partner in Central Asia. Bilateral trading volumes have grown consistently for five years in a row. Meanwhile, the foreign ministers agreed that there was a lot of untapped potential for cooperation in transport, logistics, innovation, education, agriculture, etc.
The heads of the delegations agreed to strengthen cooperation, including the implementation of the container train Saule project.
"The development potential of the container train Saule, connecting Western Europe with China via Kazakhstan and Lithuania, is great. I am glad that Lithuania and Kazakhstan agree that it is necessary to actively contribute to the project's success," Linkevicius said.
The Lithuanian foreign minister voiced support for Kazakhstan' efforts to strengthen relations with the European Union and called on the country to actively continue negotiations for a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU with an aim to conclude it in the near future.
"The signing of a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan would reflect the importance of the EU-Kazakhstan relations and the common goal of expanding cooperation in all fields of mutual interest," Linkevicius said.
Moreover, he stressed that the cooperation agreement with the EU would support the implementation of Kazakhstan's reform and modernization program.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister expressed support for Kazakhstan's World Trade Organization (WTO) accession, stressing that this would help to overcome the remaining barriers and to promote mutual trade.
When discussing regional cooperation, the foreign ministers stressed that it was an important means for conflict prevention, and driving socioeconomic development in the region. Linkevicius hailed Kazakhstan's participation in initiatives on Afghanistan.
"The fact that the round of talks on Iran's nuclear program was held in Almaty also demonstrates the growing importance of Kazakhstan's role in the international arena. Kazakhstan has also played a significant role in ensuring security and stability in the region. A particular emphasis is placed on initiatives on Afghanistan. The European Union has taken this into account in its Strategy for Central Asia, which is now more important than ever," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.