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6 November 2007
President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan Continues State Visit to the Syrian Arab Republic

The second day of the state visit by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the Syrian Arab Republic started with negotiations with Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Otari and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa.

Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed issues of developing bilateral relationships and international issues of mutual interest with the Syrian politicians. A special attention was paid to the development of economic cooperation.

“It is necessary to start with economy,” the Head of State noted. “The mutual trade has not been developed enough yet. But we have got good preconditions for its development. The intergovernmental commission must work on that. The matter is that we have to create good conditions for business”.

The discussion covered the rapid development of legislative basis for cooperation, the necessity of signing agreements on investment protection, avoiding double taxation and others.

In the context of world policy, the sides exchanged views on the situation in the region, particularly, on peaceful methods of resolving the Middle East conflict, situation in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear file.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized that Kazakhstan completely supports the outlined course of the Syrian leadership aiming at international collaboration and economic reforms. On their turn, Syrian leaders underscored the special importance of the first state visit paid by Kazakhstan’s President, the prominent politician representing a very significant region to Syria.

On the same day, Kazakhstan’s President took part in the ceremony of laying flowers to the Monument of Unknown Soldier.

After that, President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Bashar Al-Assad participated in the first session of the Kazakhstani-Syrian Business Council.

While addressing the auditory, Kazakhstan’s President expressed an opinion that the meeting between representatives of the business communities of Kazakhstan and Syria would assist to the development of trade economic cooperation between the two countries.

In the past, annual growth of Kazakhstan’s economy was at 10 %. This year, the country’s GDP will approach 100 billion dollars. Kazakhstan is a leader amongst CIS countries in implementing market reforms. Besides, the republic was one of CIS countries recognized as a market economy country by the European Union and the USA.

So far, direct foreign investments in Kazakhstan’s economy reached 70 billion dollars, and the volume of internal investments grew up to 80 billion dollars.

In the context of this figure, our state occupies leading positions not only among CIS countries, but also among countries from Eastern Europe. Nowadays, Kazakhstani investments in the economies of foreign states were equal to 26 billion dollars. The gold reserves of the country are worth 40 billion dollars. The President expressed an opinion, that the two states could be a link between the Middle East and Central Asia. Amongst promising areas of interaction are joint enterprises in the area of agriculture, textile, construction, electricity and oil industries.

Kazakhstan is interested in exporting production of metallurgical, mining and chemical industries and products of agriculture.

Nursultan Nazarbayev underscored that production of the Syrian textile industry has the same ratio of cost to quality as goods from China, Iran, Turkey and Russia do.

The President called representatives of the business communities of Kazakhstan and Syria to implement joint investment projects.

After the session of the Kazakhstani-Syrian Business Council, Nursultan Nazarbayev took part in the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the historical-cultural center and mausoleum of Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Al-Farakh Al-Farabi and viewed Sultan Baibars’s memorial.

Al-Farabi was born in the territory of the Southern Kazakhstan region and spent a part of his life in Damascus. He was a famous philosopher and the author of comments to works of Aristotel and Platon. His works influenced philosophy and science of the middle age Western Europe.

Baibars ruled Egypt and Syria in the XIII and was considered the most powerful Sultan of the Mamluk state. He was born in a region that is a part of modern Kazakhstan now.

The restoration of Sultan Baibarsal-Bunduqdari’s mausoleum and construction of Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Al-Farakh Al-Farabi’s mausoleum are the first large objects in the history of independent Kazakhstan that will be constructed abroad with the financial support of the republic.

The total funds allocated on these two objects are equal to 4.6 million dollars. The Kazrestavracia republican state enterprise is the general contractor of these projects.

On the same day, President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the Umayyad Mosque and viewed the Salahuddin Masoleum.

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