The South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Regina Mhaule recently hosted the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Ashikbayev for the Sixth South Africa-Kazakhstan Bilateral Political Consultations.

The Sixth round of Bilateral Political Consultations reviewed progress made since the previous round and it is expected that the Consultations will further explore closer cooperation in the fields of education and skills exchange, science and technology, mining, agriculture and energy to encourage the expansion of economic cooperation.

The meeting acknowledged that Kazakhstan successfully hosted the EXPO2017 in Astana in 2017, under the theme “Future Energy” and that South Africa’s participation showcased the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope.

According to the statement by Department International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), bilateral agreements in a variety of fields including trade and economic cooperation, immigration and justice are currently under consideration and close to finalisation.

The bilateral relations between the two countries are cordial and are conducted under the umbrella of the structured Protocol on Regular Political Consultations, signed in 1997 and co-chaired at the level of Deputy Minister.

The Consultations convene at alternating venues in Kazakhstan and South Africa, and Kazakhstan hosted a successful fifth round of Bilateral Political Consultations in Astana in November 2016.

DIRCO also added that, “it is also expected that the mainstreaming of Continental development priorities in the African Union, Southern African Development Community, and in Central Asia as well as other multilateral cooperation objectives, including the South African non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019-20 will form part of discussions. Kazakhstan will also share the priorities and achievements of their tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the period 2017-18.”

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