Delivering welcoming remarks, the Secretary of State reminded that President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and his French Counterpart Emmanuel Macron had had a meeting in September 2018 in Brussels. It is to be recalled that during the talks, the French leader announced that he will visit Kazakhstan in 2019. "Kazakhstan and France have built up very good relations. France is our key strategic partner and reliable friend. You know that France is one of our top 10 major economic partners. For 26 years, we have been cooperating and have established good diplomatic relations. This year is significant as it marks 10 years since the Strategic Partnership Agreement between France and Kazakhstan was signed. I would also like to mention the fruitfulness of the meetings between our heads of state. The President of our country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has recently met with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, at a big summit in Belgium. We know that the French President intends to come to Astana next year. I think the visit will provide added momentum to the development of our cooperation," Gulshara Abdykalikova pointed out.
The Secretary of State also added that educational cooperation between the two countries is expanding. For instance, the Sorbonne-Kazakhstan Institute was established in 2014 at the initiative of the Kazakh President. It operates at the premises of the Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University. In the current academic year, the Embassy of France in Kazakhstan undertook work to select candidates for study at French higher educational institutions in the furtherance of the respective agreement between the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France. During the talks, the sides reached accords in continuing the educational initiatives launched. Concluding the meeting, the Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan wished French Ambassador Philippe Martinet great success in further strengthening of Kazakhstan-France cooperation.