By Eleni-Vasiliki Bampaliouta
“Greece and Kazakhstan’s bilateral relations are based on friendship and mutual respect. This was also confirmed during my recent meeting with your Foreign Minister in Stockholm. It is obvious that our relations can be further enhanced in a number of important fields. The interest is mutual” Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, who was invited to the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, said on Tuesday.
“The world of today has changed dramatically since the 1990’s. Kazakhstan has overcome the obstacles of the first years of independence.” Dendias emphasized.
He also reminded attendees that official Greek-Kazakh relations started on the 27th of September of 1992. The first Greek Embassy opened in Almaty in 1997 then it was transferred to Nur-Sultan in April 2009. Kazakhstan upgraded its diplomatic mission in Athens to an Embassy in 2009.
Minister Dendias said that the two countries’ views on major international and regional issues are very similar. Both countries have developed very good cooperation within the UN system in the field of candidacies, while there is a longstanding presence of 10.000 people of Greek descent in Kazakhstan, as well as 80.000 Kazakh citizens in Greece – many of them of Greek origin.
Further, he said that “our trade volume is limited and comprised mainly of oil and gas products and there is ample room for academic and cultural cooperation- our respective diasporas can contribute here as well”.
The Greek Foreign Minister praised the Kazakh Ambassador “who is very active,” adding that contacts between the respective authorities and agencies are being planned. “Hopefully, we will soon have a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee.”
Concluding, Dendias said that “we were recently informed that the Kazakh Ambassador has taken the initiative to propose the township of Acharnes to have a road named after Kazakhstan, due to the presence of a large number of residents with Kazakh citizenship. I congratulate you on this idea, since this is the type of events that bring our peoples together.”